Introduction: Inflammatory markers are often elevated in patients with dementia, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, it remains unclear whether inflammatory markers are associated with the risk of developing dementia. Methods: We searched PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane library for prospective population-based studies reporting associations between inflammatory markers and all-cause dementia or AD. We used random effects meta-analyses to obtain pooled hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals of inflammatory markers (highest vs. lowest quantile) for all-cause dementia and AD. Results: Fifteen articles from 13 studies in six countries reported data that could be meta-analyzed. C-reactive protein (HR = 1.37 [1.05; 1.78]), interleukin-6 (HR = 1.40 [1.13; 1.73]), α1-antichymotrypsin (HR = 1.54 [1.14; 2.80]), lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 activity (HR = 1.40 [1.03; 1.90]), and fibrinogen were each associated with all-cause dementia, but neither was significantly associated with AD. Discussion: Several inflammatory markers are associated with an increased risk of all-cause dementia; however, these markers are not specific for AD. Whether inflammatory markers closely involved in AD pathology are associated with the risk of AD remains to be elucidated.

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Alzheimer's & Dementia
Department of Epidemiology

Darweesh, S.K.L, Wolters, F.J, Ikram, M.A, de Wolf, F. (Frank), Bos, D, & Hofman, A. (2018). Inflammatory markers and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease: A meta-analysis. Alzheimer's & Dementia. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2018.02.014