The effects of ageing, BMI and physical activity on blood IL-15 levels: a systematic review and meta-analyses

Guilherme Henrique Jesus do Prado, Amanda Veiga Sardeli*, Janet Lord, Cláudia Regina Cavaglieri

*Corresponding author for this work

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Aim: The purpose of the study was to test the effect of ageing, BMI, physical activity and chronic exercise on IL-15 blood concentration by meta-analyses of the literature.

Methods: The search was performed on PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science, ProQuest, Embase and Cochrane databases. First meta-analysis compared blood IL-15 of healthy adults across three age groups (65 years), considering BMI as confounding factor; the second compared IL-15 levels between physically active and non-physically active individuals (cross-sectional studies); and the third tested the effect of chronic exercise interventions on blood IL-15 levels on participants of any age, sex, and health condition.

Results: From 2582 studies retrieved, 67 were selected for the three meta-analyses (age effect: 59; physical activity cross-sectional effect: 5; chronic exercise effect: 14). Older adults had lower blood IL-15 than young and middle-aged adults (5.30 pg/ml [4.76; 5.83]; 7.11 pg/ml [6.33; 7.88]; 7.10 pg/ml [5.55; 8.65], respectively). However, the subgroup of overweight older adults had higher IL-15 than young and middle aged overweight adults; Habitual physical activity did not affect blood IL-15 (standardized mean difference [SMD] 0.61 [−0.65; 1.88], p = 0.34); Chronic exercise reduced blood IL-15 in short-term interventions (16 weeks of intervention (SMD 0.44 [−0.26; 1.15], p = 0.22).

Conclusion: The present meta-analyses highlight the complex interaction of age, BMI and physical activity on blood IL-15 and emphasize the need to take these factors into account when considering the role of this myokine in health throughout life.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111933
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental gerontology
Early online date22 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.


  • Ageing
  • BMI
  • Exercise
  • Exercise therapy
  • Interleukin-15
  • Physical activity


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