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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 615312, 13 pages
Review Article

The Role of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Cardiovascular Aging

1Shanghai Institute of Geriatrics, Department of Geriatrics, Huadong Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200040, China
2Department of Perinatal Medicine, Pregnancy Research Centre and Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne, Royal Women’s Hospital, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
3Department of Neurology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China

Received 19 June 2014; Accepted 10 July 2014; Published 20 July 2014

Academic Editor: Alice Santos-Silva

Copyright © 2014 Junzhen Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Age is an independent risk factor of cardiovascular disease, even in the absence of other traditional factors. Emerging evidence in experimental animal and human models has emphasized a central role for two main mechanisms of age-related cardiovascular disease: oxidative stress and inflammation. Excess reactive oxygen species (ROS) and superoxide generated by oxidative stress and low-grade inflammation accompanying aging recapitulate age-related cardiovascular dysfunction, that is, left ventricular hypertrophy, fibrosis, and diastolic dysfunction in the heart as well as endothelial dysfunction, reduced vascular elasticity, and increased vascular stiffness. We describe the signaling involved in these two main mechanisms that include the factors NF-κB, JunD, p66Shc, and Nrf2. Potential therapeutic strategies to improve the cardiovascular function with aging are discussed, with a focus on calorie restriction, SIRT1, and resveratrol.