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Chronic inflammation compromises health in such a way that it could increase the risk of death at a young age. New evidence of the dangers associated with this condition comes from a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology by a team of researchers led by experts from the Harvard Medical School. In fact, Brittany Weber and colleagues revealed that young heart attack patients have a greater risk of dying if they are living with an inflammatory pathology.

Cardiovascular diseases, the first enemy of health

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally. Among the best-known risk factors are hypertension and high cholesterol; however, chronic inflammation can compromise cardiovascular health too. «The continuous inflammation irritates blood vessels. It can, for example, promote the formation of thrombi, the leading cause of heart attack and ictus», Giuseppe Mucci, Bioscience Institute CEO, explains.

This relationship should not be understated. Worldwide, 60% of death are due to chronic inflammatory diseases (e.g. stroke, cancer, obesity, diabetes, and heart or chronic respiratory diseases). In Europe, 2% of the population is diagnosed with systemic inflammation-related pathologies, and recent estimates show that in 2014 nearly 60% of the USA population had at least one chronic disease such as diabetes. In the Middle East, inflammation-related conditions, such as smoking, were among the top 10 risk factors for premature death and disability already in 2010, cardiovascular diseases were responsible for 34% of all 2015 deaths, and the death rate from diabetes grew more than 200% between 1990 and 2015. Moreover, systemic inflammation can impact the health of more than one organ at the same time. For example, in psoriasis inflammation can compromise the health of both skin and joint, and in systemic lupus erythematosus not only skin and joint, but also kidney, blood cells, brain, heart, and lung can be involved.

Also, chronic inflammation could be asymptomatic, as in the case of low-grade chronic inflammation – a very common, but often overlooked, condition.

The new study

The new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology analyzed the correlation between systemic inflammation and mortality in a group of patients who had a heart attack aged 50 or younger. Participants health status was followed for a median of 11.2 years; collected data revealed that people living with an inflammatory disease were 2 times more likely to die during the study.

In a second time, researchers compared mortality in people with inflammatory diseases and in a subgroup of participants matched for age, sex, and cardiovascular risk factors (diabetes, obesity, smoking status, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol) but with no systemic inflammation-related pathologies. The probability of dying was confirmed to be higher (2.68 times greater) in the participant with inflammatory diseases. As explained by Weber, «this suggests that the worse long-term survival in young heart attack patients with inflammatory diseases could be related to inflammation versus higher prevalence of other cardiovascular risk factors».

The remedy is in the lifestyle

Lifestyle is the more efficient weapon against increased health risk associated with inflammation. As highlighted by Weber, «behaviours are incredibly important, including healthy eating, physical activity and not smoking, plus controlling cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes».

«Fortunately, nowadays we do not need to wait for an inflammatory disease diagnosis to know if we are at risk», Mucci adds. «We can flush out low-grade chronic inflammation even if it is asymptomatic, intercepting this strong risk factor before it compromises our health». This is the approach proposed by Bioscience Institute, which unmasks this silent type of inflammation with CYTOBALANCE, the test that allows measuring pro-inflammatory cytokine levels. «Moreover, we cannot forget that inflammatory disease development can be promoted by immune defense aging. That is why, beside inflammation level monitoring, it is also useful to evaluate the immune system balance with Bioscience’s IMMUNOBALANCE».

For more information, please visit CYTOBALANCE webpage or call us at +971 (0)4 375 722

Resources

  • Pahwa R et al. Chronic Inflammation. [Updated 2020 Nov 20]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/
  • Narula J. Global Burden of Cardiovascular Disease: Is Middle east Any Different? ACC Middle East Conference 2017. https://bit.ly/3tdDaHz
  • Weber B et al. Association of inflammatory disease and long-term outcomes among young adults with myocardial infarction: the Mass General Brigham YOUNG-MI Registry. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2021 Mar 30;zwaa154. doi: 10.1093/eurjpc/zwaa154
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