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Cytomegalovirus seropositivity is associated with glucose regulation in the oldest old. Results from the Leiden 85-plus Study

Sijia Chen12, Anton JM de Craen12, Yotam Raz12, Evelyna Derhovanessian3, Ann Vossen CTM4, Rudi Westendorp GJ12, Graham Pawelec3 and Andrea B Maier12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Leiden University Medical Center, Albinusdreef 2, Leiden, 2333 ZA, The Netherlands

2 Netherlands Consortium for Healthy Ageing, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands

3 Tübingen Ageing and Tumour Immunology Group, Center for Medical Research, University of Tübingen Medical School, Tübingen, Germany

4 Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands

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Immunity & Ageing 2012, 9:18  doi:10.1186/1742-4933-9-18

Published: 28 August 2012



Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection has been reported to contribute to the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes and post-transplantation diabetes. However, CMV infection has not been evaluated as a possible risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Our aim was to investigate potential associations between CMV seropositivity, CMV IgG antibody level and glucose regulation in the oldest old.


CMV seropositive subjects were more likely to have type 2 diabetes (17.2% vs 7.9%, p = 0.016), had a higher level of HbA1c (p = 0.014) and higher non-fasting glucose (p = 0.024) in the oldest olds. These associations remained significant after adjustment for possible confounders. CMV IgG antibody level was not significantly associated with glucose regulation (all p > 0.05).


In the oldest old, CMV seropositivity is significantly associated with various indicators of glucose regulation. This finding suggests that CMV infection might be a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes in the elderly.

Cytomegalovirus; Seropositivity; IgG antibody level; Type 2 diabetes; HbA1c; Non-fasting glucose; C-reactive protein; Elderly; Oldest olds