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Are self-reported gastrointestinal symptoms among older adults associated with increased intestinal permeability and psychological distress?
Orebro Univ, Sweden; Orebro Univ, Sweden.
Orebro Univ, Sweden; Orebro Univ, Sweden.
Orebro Univ, Sweden.
Orebro Univ, Sweden.
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2018 (English)In: BMC Geriatrics, ISSN 1471-2318, E-ISSN 1471-2318, Vol. 18, article id 75Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Despite the substantial number of older adults suffering from gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms little is known regarding the character of these complaints and whether they are associated with an altered intestinal barrier function and psychological distress. Our aim was to explore the relationship between self-reported gut health, intestinal permeability and psychological distress among older adults. Methods: Three study populations were included: 1) older adults with GI symptoms (n = 24), 2) a group of older adults representing the general elderly population in Sweden (n = 22) and 3) senior orienteering athletes as a potential model of healthy ageing (n = 27). Questionnaire data on gut-health, psychological distress and level of physical activity were collected. Intestinal permeability was measured by quantifying zonulin in plasma. The level of systemic and local inflammation was monitored by measuring C-reactive protein (CRP), hydrogen peroxide in plasma and calprotectin in stool samples. The relationship between biomarkers and questionnaire data in the different study populations was illustrated using a Principal Component Analysis (PCA). Results: Older adults with GI symptoms displayed significantly higher levels of both zonulin and psychological distress than both general older adults and senior orienteering athletes. The PCA analysis revealed a separation between senior orienteering athletes and older adults with GI symptoms and showed an association between GI symptoms, psychological distress and zonulin. Conclusions: Older adults with GI symptoms express increased plasma levels of zonulin, which might reflect an augmented intestinal permeability. In addition, this group suffer from higher psychological distress compared to general older adults and senior orienteering athletes. This relationship was further confirmed by a PCA plot, which illustrated an association between GI symptoms, psychological distress and intestinal permeability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BIOMED CENTRAL LTD , 2018. Vol. 18, article id 75
Keywords [en]
Older adults; Gastrointestinal symptoms; Intestinal barrier function; Psychological distress
National Category
Gerontology, specialising in Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-147416DOI: 10.1186/s12877-018-0767-6ISI: 000428260300001PubMedID: 29554871OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-147416DiVA, id: diva2:1206650
Note

Funding Agencies|Bo Rydins stiftelse [F0514]; Knowledge Foundation [20110225]; Faculty of Medicine and Health at Orebro University; Diarrheal Disease Research Centre, Linkoping University

Available from: 2018-05-17 Created: 2018-05-17 Last updated: 2018-06-04

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