Oxidative stress is associated with greater mortality in older women living in the community

Richard D. Semba, Luigi Ferrucci, Kai Sun, Jeremy Walston, Ravi Varadhan, Jack M. Guralnik, Linda P. Fried

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To determine whether oxidative stress, as implied by oxidative damage to proteins, is associated with greater mortality in older women living in the community. DESIGN: Longitudinal. SETTING: Women's Health and Aging Study I, Baltimore, Maryland. PARTICIPANTS: Seven hundred forty-six moderately to severely disabled women, aged 65 and older, with baseline measures of serum protein carbonyls. MEASUREMENTS: Serum protein carbonyls, which consist of chemically stable aldehyde and ketone groups produced on protein side chains when they are oxidized, were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Multivariate logistic regression was used to adjust for potential confounders. RESULTS: During 5 years of follow-up, 202 (27.1%) participants died. Geometric mean serum protein carbonyls were 0.091 nmol/mg in women who died and 0.083 nmol/mg in those who survived (P=.02). Loge protein carbonyls (nmol/mg) were associated with greater risk of mortality (hazards ratio=1.34, 95% confidence interval=1.01-1.79, P=.04) in a multivariate Cox proportional hazards model adjusting for age, current smoking, and body mass index. CONCLUSION: Greater oxidative stress, as indicated by elevated serum protein carbonyl concentrations, was associated with greater risk of death in older women living in the community who were moderately to severely disabled. Prevention of oxidative stress may reduce the risk of mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1421-1425
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Aging
  • Mortality
  • Oxidative stress
  • Protein carbonyls
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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