European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 27, Issue 8, pp 633–645 | Cite as

Inflammation, coagulation and risk of locomotor disability in elderly women: findings from the British Women’s Heart and Health Study

  • Eveline Nüesch
  • Caroline E. Dale
  • Antoinette Amuzu
  • Hannah Kuper
  • Ann Bowling
  • George B. Ploubidis
  • Gordon Lowe
  • Ann Rumley
  • Shah Ebrahim
  • Juan P. Casas


This study investigated associations between chronic inflammation and coagulation and incident locomotor disability using prospective data from the British Women’s Heart and Health Study. Locomotor disability was assessed using self-reported questionnaires in 1999/2000, and 3 and 7 years later. Scores for inflammation and coagulation were obtained from summation of quartile categories of all available biomarkers from blood samples taken at baseline. 534 women developed locomotor disability after 3 years, 260 women after 7 years, while 871 women remained free of locomotor disability over the whole study period. After adjustment for demographic characteristics, lifestyle factors and health conditions, we found associations between inflammation and incident locomotor disability after three (OR per unit increase in score = 1.08, 95 % confidence interval (CI): 1.03, 1.13) and 7 years (OR = 1.10, 95 % CI: 1.03, 1.18) and between coagulation and incident locomotor disability after 3 (OR = 1.06, 95 % CI: 0.98, 1.14) and 7 years (OR = 1.09, 95 % CI: 1.00, 1.18). This corresponds to ORs between 1.8 and 2.4 comparing women with highest to lowest inflammation or coagulation scores. These results support the role of inflammation and coagulation in the development of locomotor disability in elderly women irrespective of their lifestyle factors and underlying age-related chronic diseases.


Aging Blood coagulation Inflammation Locomotor disability 



Activated protein C


Activated partial thromboplastin time


Confidence interval


C-reactive protein




Interquartile range


Odds ratio


Tumor necrosis factor alpha



This work was supported by a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship for Career Development (Grant FP7-PEOPLE-2010-IEF-273673 to E.N.); the Department of Health Policy Research Program (Grant 009/0049); and the British Heart Foundation (Grant EPNCCD08). The funders had no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of the data; in the writing of the report or in the decision to submit the paper for publication. We thank to all study participants, the general practitioners and their staff who have supported data collection since the study inception, and the Laboratory based at Glasgow University for processing the assays.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eveline Nüesch
    • 1
  • Caroline E. Dale
    • 1
  • Antoinette Amuzu
    • 1
  • Hannah Kuper
    • 2
  • Ann Bowling
    • 3
  • George B. Ploubidis
    • 1
  • Gordon Lowe
    • 4
  • Ann Rumley
    • 4
  • Shah Ebrahim
    • 1
    • 5
  • Juan P. Casas
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Faculty of Epidemiology and Population HealthLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineLondonUK
  2. 2.Faculty of Infectious and Tropical DiseasesLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineLondonUK
  3. 3.Faculty of Health and Social Care SciencesKingston University and St George’s, University of LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical SciencesUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK
  5. 5.South Asia Network for Chronic Disease, Public Health Foundation of IndiaNew DelhiIndia
  6. 6.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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