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Taming chronic inflammation may reduce illness and save lives

06.12.2019 11:48

Branco Weiss Alumnus George Slavich forms part of a group of scientists from 22 institutions who are recommending early diagnosis, prevention and treatment of severe chronic inflammation to reduce the risk of chronic disease and death worldwide. Inflammation-related diseases, the group of international experts says, are the cause of 50 percent of all deaths worldwide.

In a perspective article, published in the journal Nature Medicine, the authors describe how persistent and severe inflammation in the body plays a key role in heart disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders.

According to George Slavich it is important to make people aware of the risk factors for chronic inflammation, which include obesity, physical inactivity, social isolation, chronic stress and inadequate or poor sleep. “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,” Slavich adds. Research should focus on identifying new biomarkers or substances in the body that will enable doctors to screen for and better diagnose and treat severe chronic inflammation.

Read the news on the UCLA website

Read the paper in Nature Medicine