Investigating pathogen burden in relation to a cumulative deficits index in a representative sample of US adults.
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Pathogen burden is a construct developed to assess the cumulative effects of multiple, persistent pathogens on morbidity and mortality. Despite the likely biological wear and tear on multiple body systems caused by persistent infections, few studies have examined the impact of total pathogen burden on such outcomes and specifically on preclinical markers of dysfunction. Using data from two waves of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we compared three alternative methods for measuring pathogen burden, composed of mainly persistent viral infections, using a cumulative deficits index (CDI) as an outcome: single pathogen associations, a pathogen burden summary score and latent class analyses. We found significant heterogeneity in the distribution of the CDI by age, sex, race/ethnicity and education. There was an association between pathogen burden and the CDI by all three metrics. The latent class classification of pathogen burden showed particularly strong associations with the CDI; these associations remained after controlling for age, sex, body mass index, smoking, race/ethnicity and education. Our results suggest that pathogen burden may influence early clinical indicators of poor health as measured by the CDI. Our results are salient since we were able to detect these associations in a relatively young population. These findings suggest that reducing pathogen burden and the specific pathogens that drive the CDI may provide a target for preventing the early development of age-related physiological changes.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1017/s095026881800153x
Publication InfoCohen, Harvey; O'Rand, Angela; Noppert, GA; & Aiello, AE (2018). Investigating pathogen burden in relation to a cumulative deficits index in a representative sample of US adults. Epidemiology and infection. pp. 1-9. 10.1017/s095026881800153x. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/17277.
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Professor of Medicine
Dr. Cohen's research program includes clinical research relating to aspects of the pathways to functional decline and reilience with aging, geriatric assessment, and cancer and anemia in the elderly. Pathways to functional decline are being explored through the NIA funded Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, and includes studies of the contributions of age related physiologic change, in particular changes in inflammatory parameters, comorbid diseases and con
Professor Emeritus of Sociology
My major research interests focus on patterns of inequality across the life span, with a special interest in the temporal diversity of life transitions, their consequences for later life, and the impact of institutions on these transitions over time. Over forty years I have examined workplace policies related to wage and benefit structures and the impact of workers' educational, work and family histories on socioeconomic outcomes. The changing employment relationship and the re-organization of r
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