Inflamm-ageing: the role of inflammation in age-dependent cardiovascular disease

Luca Liberale, Fabrizio Montecucco, Jean Claude Tardif, Peter Libby, Giovanni G. Camici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ongoing worldwide increase in life expectancy portends a rising prevalence of age-related cardiovascular (CV) diseases in the coming decades that demands a deeper understanding of their molecular mechanisms. Inflammation has recently emerged as an important contributor for CV disease development. Indeed, a state of chronic sterile low-grade inflammation characterizes older organisms (also known as inflamm-ageing) and participates pivotally in the development of frailty, disability, and most chronic degenerative diseases including age-related CV and cerebrovascular afflictions. Due to chronic activation of inflammasomes and to reduced endogenous anti-inflammatory mechanisms, inflamm-ageing contributes to the activation of leucocytes, endothelial, and vascular smooth muscle cells, thus accelerating vascular ageing and atherosclerosis. Furthermore, inflamm-ageing promotes the development of catastrophic athero-thrombotic complications by enhancing platelet reactivity and predisposing to plaque rupture and erosion. Thus, inflamm-ageing and its contributors or molecular mediators might furnish targets for novel therapeutic strategies that could promote healthy ageing and conserve resources for health care systems worldwide. Here, we discuss recent findings in the pathophysiology of inflamm-ageing, the impact of these processes on the development of age-related CV diseases, results from clinical trials targeting its components and the potential implementation of these advances into daily clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2974-2982
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - Aug 14 2020


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Inflamm-ageing
  • Inflammation
  • Vascular ageing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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