4084 Healthy Ageing Research Center (HARC) As a Platform for Multidisciplinary Approaches to Respiratory Research in the Elderly

Saturday, 17 October 2015
Hall D1 Foyer (Floor 3) (Coex Convention Center)

Marek L. Kowalski, MD, PhD. , Immunology, Rheumatology and Allergy, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland

Aleksandra Wardzynska, MD , Department of Immunology, Rheumatology and Allergy, Medical University of Lodz, d, Poland

Marcin Kurowski, MD, PhD , Immunology, Rheumatology and Allergy, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland

Malgorzata / Ewa Pawelczyk, PhD , Immunology, Rheumatology and Allergy, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland

Adam Wysokinski, MD , Healthy Ageing Research Center, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland

Iwona Kloszewska, MD , Healthy Ageing Research Center, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland

Janina Grzegorczyk, PhD , Healthy Ageing Research Center, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland

Wojciech Piotrowski, MD , Healthy Ageing Research Center, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland

Joanna Makowska, MD, PhD. , Immunology,Rheumatology and Allergy, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland

Background: World population, over the age 65 (usually defined as the elderly) has been steadily growing, reflecting general trends of ageing societies. With advancing age, chronic diseases become increasingly prevalent  and contribute  to the loss of independence, frailty and increased risk of death. Understanding the role of environmental factors, specifically respiratory infections, in the pathogenesis of chronic  respiratory  diseases in the elderly may help in decreasing morbidity and extending the lifespan  of this population.

Methods:  Healthy Ageing Research Center (HARC) which is a  multidisciplinary research platform established at the Medical University of Lodz, involves  research groups with various basic biological ( immunologists, biochemists , molecular biologists)  and clinical ( geriatricians, psychiatrists, cardiologists and pulmonologists) interests and  devoted to conduct research addressing key issues related to pathogenesis of increased morbidity in the elderly population. Here we present  the HARC  platform  as  a vehicle  for development of multidisciplinary research  related to various aspects of  respiratory infections in the elderly.

Results: Preliminary study involving elderly  subjects  (n=157; mean age 68.2 ) allowed to establish risk  factors associated with frequent infections. In  a  multivariate analysis  polytherapy (more than 5 prescription drugs ) has been determined as  one of the most important  risk factors for frequent ( defined  as more than 3 per year) respiratory infections  (OR=1.93 (CI95% 1.11-3.36).  The effect of  comorbidities as risk factors  for respiratory infections,   will be further analyzed   in cross-sectional  study involving 3000  subjects randomly selected from the local population of elderly subjects.  In collaboration with psychiatrics  the prevalence and spectrum of respiratory infections among patients with  various psychiatric disorders is being studied.   
Although viral infections  are considered to be  important triggers  in asthma  exacerbation in children and adults, it is difficult to extrapolate infection rates and specific pathogens from these studies to older adults with asthma. The study currently developed with microbiologist  is aiming at assessment of  the role of viral and bacterial triggers asthma exacerbation in the elderly patients.  In parallel , in vitro model  to assess  the peripheral blood leukocytes immune  response to rhinovirus infection and  miRNA expression in the elderly patients with and without asthma  has been introduced .

Conclusions: Collaboration within multidisciplinary  research team ( HARC platform) has allowed  for development of  innovative approaches to  study various aspects of respiratory infections in the elderly population   

Project is  supported by the European Commission RegPot-2012-2013-1