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Researchers Call Chronic Inflammation ‘A Substantial Public Health Crisis’

UPI reports:

Roughly half of all deaths worldwide are caused by inflammation-related diseases. Now, a team of international researchers is calling on physicians to focus greater attention on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of severe, chronic inflammation so that people can live longer, healthier lives.

In a commentary published Friday in the journal Nature Medicine, researchers at 22 institutions describe how persistent and severe inflammation in the body is often a precursor for heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, and autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders. The researchers point to inflammation-related conditions as the cause of roughly 50 percent of all deaths worldwide. “This is a substantial public health crisis,” co-author George Slavich, a research scientist at the Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at UCLA, said in a statement. “It’s also important to recognize that inflammation is a contributor not just to physical health problems, but also mental health problems such as anxiety disorders, depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, self-harm and suicide.”

In the commentary, Slavich and his fellow authors describe inflammation as a naturally occurring response by the body’s immune system that helps it fight illness and infection. However, when inflammation is chronic, it can increase the risk for developing potentially deadly diseases.


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