Health Today

Chronic Inflammation and Late-Life Decline

The importance of age-related, low-level chronic elevations in inflammatory cytokines is increasingly recognized as pathophysiologic in older adults. This chronic inflammatory state has adverse effects on multi-organ systems, leading to the development of chronic diseases, disability, frailty, and mortality in older adults.

Research focus

The research at Johns Hopkins Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology attempts to delineate the underlying molecular and immune mechanisms of chronic inflammation as well as its potential role in the development of frailty and functional decline in older adults.

Current research studies

• The role of chronic inflammation in the pathogenesis of frailty and anemia

• Activation of the monocyte/macrophage-mediated inflammatory pathway in aging and frailty

• Chronic cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and its role in the development of chronic inflammation and frailty in older adults

• Chronic inflammation and functional decline in aging HIV/AIDS population

• The development of a serum inflammatory mediator panel that can be used to assess for risk for adverse outcomes in disease states and during surgical procedures in older adults

• The development of mouse models that develop chronic inflammatory pathway activation and the study of how inflammation impacts chronic disease development and the development of frailty


Karen Bandeen-Roche, PhD, MS Luigi Ferrucci, MD, PhD Amy Matteini, PhDFrederick E. Sieber, MD Ravi Varadhan, PhD

Faculty investigators

Sean Leng, MD, PhD Jeremy Walston, MD 

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