Asymmetric dimethylarginine predicts survival in the elderly

Francesco Pizzarelli, Renke Maas, Pietro Dattolo, Giovanni Tripepi, Stefano Michelassi, Graziella D'Arrigo, Maren Mieth, Stefania Bandinelli, Luigi Ferrucci, Carmine Zoccali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is an endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase implicated in several age-related biological mechanisms such as telomere shortening and cell senescence. We tested the hypothesis that ADMA blood level is an independent predictor of mortality in elderly. This is a longitudinal population-based cohort study. Participants are a representative cohort of 1,025 men and women (age range 65-102 years) living in Chianti area, Tuscany, Italy. The plasma ADMA was measured by liquid chromatography- tandem mass spectrometry. During the follow-up (95±32 months), 384 individuals died, of whom 141 (37 %) died of cardiovascular (CV) causes. In adjusted analyses, the plasma ADMAwas the strongest predictor of all-cause mortality (HR (0.1 μMol/L) 1.26, 95 % CI 1.10-1.44, P60 μMol/L. Notwithstanding the association ofADMA with all-cause mortality was robust, this biomarker failed to add predictive power to a simple model based on the risk factors in the elderly (area under the ROC curve 0.85±0.01 vs. 0.84±0.01). ADMA is a strong independent predictor of mortality in the older population, and L-arginine modifies the effect of ADMA on survival. The mechanisms for this association should be targeted by future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2465-2475
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • ADMA
  • Cardiovascular risk factor
  • Elderly
  • Population study
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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