Declining melatonin levels and older people. How old is old?

Graham, Deborah, and McLachlan, Angus (2004) Declining melatonin levels and older people. How old is old? Neuroendocrinology Letters, 25 (25). pp. 415-418.

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OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether melatonin levels in older cohorts within the ‘aged’ population were significantly lower than in younger ‘aged’ individuals and hence point to a possible confound in cross-sectional studies which group individuals over 55 in one category.

SETTING AND DESIGN: Melatonin levels of 35 North Queensland residents over 55 years of age living in an aged-care facility, a retirement village or the general community were compared across three age groups.

METHODS: Subjects were ten 56–65 year olds, eighteen 66–75 year olds and seven over-75 year olds. Information was obtained on sleep, awakening, medical conditions and medications, with subsequent exclusion of those with known medical conditions and/or medications. Melatonin was collected by salivary samples at 2200 hours and concentrations were determined by immunoassay.

RESULTS: Mean melatonin levels were significantly lower (p=.03) in the ‘oldest’ (over 75 yrs) group compared to the ‘youngest’ (56–65 yrs) group. MAIN FINDINGS: The results of this preliminary study indicate that within the older population, melatonin levels appear to decline significantly with age.

CONCLUSIONS: Future studies of melatonin and ageing may benefit from a longitudinal approach, with older subjects sampled across time.

Item ID: 398
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0172-780X
Keywords: elderly, melatonin
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Copyright © Neuroendocrinology Letters 2004. All rights reserved. Author version of article - restricted pending copyright advice from Publisher.

Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2006
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110306 Endocrinology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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