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Younger gut microbiota reduces risk of cardiovascular disease in older adults

Younger gut microbiota reduces risk of cardiovascular disease in older adults
Younger gut microbiota reduces risk of cardiovascular disease in older adults


A recent study published in the journal Nature MedicineResearchers have characterized the gut microbiota, developed a metric for microbial age, and shown that a younger microbial age may be associated with reduced cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in metabolically unhealthy older adults.

research summary: Gut bacterial age modulates cardiovascular disease risk in metabolically unhealthy older adultsImage credit: FOTOGRIN / Shutterstock


Age and metabolism are interrelated and contribute significantly to CVD, the number one cause of death globally. The gut microbiota may influence healthy aging by processing environmental signals, associating with host metabolism, and changing composition with age. However, the role of the gut microbiota in long-term CVD risk during aging and unhealthy metabolism is poorly understood due to a lack of defined microbial phenotypes and limited longitudinal data. Few metagenomic studies have explored this within a single population. Further research is needed to understand this interplay and develop targeted interventions to enhance cardiovascular health and promote healthy aging.

About the Research

In this study, researchers constructed five metabolic multimorbidity clusters (MCs) in a discovery cohort of 10,207 Chinese individuals based on 21 variables, including obesity-related measurements, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, beta-cell function, glucose, lipid parameters, and biomarkers of liver and kidney function. MC1 is a metabolically healthy cluster, MC2 is a cluster with low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, MC3 is a cluster with high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, MC4 shows obesity-related features, and MC5 is characterized by hyperglycemia. During 11.1 years of follow-up, MC4 and MC5 had a 75% and 117% higher risk of incident CVD compared with MC1, respectively. These clusters and associated CVD risks were replicated in an independent cohort of 9,061 Chinese individuals with 10 years of follow-up.

Analysis of gut microbial metagenomes from a sub-cohort of 4,491 individuals followed for 6.8 years revealed differences in gut microbial composition associated with older age and unhealthy metabolism (MC4 and MC5), after accounting for confounding factors such as oral medications. A metric of gut microbial age was developed based on 55 age-specific species to capture biological age and validated in four external cross-sectional datasets of 4,425 metagenomic samples from six countries.

In MC4 and MC5 individuals aged 60 years and older, older microbial age was associated with worse CVD risk, whereas younger microbial age was associated with lower CVD risk. Prevotella cover Microbial richness reduced this risk independent of age, sex, education, lifestyle, dietary factors and medication use, suggesting a moderating effect of microbial age on cardiovascular health in metabolically unhealthy older adults.

research result

The comprehensive design of this study allowed us to investigate in detail the characteristics of gut microbiota in the complexities of aging and metabolic multi-disease. By strictly controlling potential confounding factors and ensuring robust results through extensive validation, this study effectively highlighted the important role of gut microbiota age in regulating the long-term CVD risk associated with unhealthy metabolism in older adults. The results showed that the younger the gut microbiota age, the higher the risk of CVD. Prevotella cover Abundant vitamin D can effectively counteract the increased CVD risk associated with metabolic disorders, regardless of age, sex, education level, lifestyle, dietary factors, or drug use.

The findings highlight the potential of the newly developed gut microbial age metric to promote healthy aging in metabolically unhealthy older populations and inform the application of microbiota-directed interventions to reduce CVD risk. The findings suggest that targeting the gut microbiota to maintain a young microbial age may be a viable strategy to extend cardiovascular health and longevity in older adults.

“This study highlights the importance of considering the gut microbiota in the context of aging and metabolic health and paves the way for innovative approaches to manage and reduce the risks associated with cardiovascular disease in older adults. The potential for microbiota-targeted interventions offers a promising avenue to improve the overall health and well-being of ageing societies.”


The study concludes that gut microbiota age plays an important role in modulating CVD risk in metabolically unhealthy older adults. Prevotella cover “Microbiota abundance effectively mitigates the increased CVD risk associated with unhealthy metabolism, regardless of age and other factors. This finding highlights the potential of microbiota-directed interventions to improve cardiovascular health and promote healthy aging.”




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