Chronic inflammation linked with increased risk of multiple diseases and shorter lifespan

Researchers have elucidated the disease risk underlying a biomarker predictive of shorter lifespan.

Researchers have been able to unravel the disease burden that underlies increased mortality risk for and all-cause mortality biomarker they discovered in 2014. They found, that low-level chronic inflammation is associated with increased risk for diseases of all major internal organs. They used data and samples from over 11000 Finnish volunteers in their research. The researchers were able to connect chronic inflammation and increased risk of multiple diseases in one study for the first time. The results of the study will help to understand the disease burden that is linked with low-level inflammation and possible will aid in the future people to live healthier and longer life.

The aim of the study was to understand the connection between a biomarker that indicated low-level inflammation, Glycoprotein acetyalation (GlycA), and the risk of incident disease risk through electronic health records. Researchers found, that low-level inflammation is associated with increased risk for diseases including cardiovascular disease, liver- and kidney disease, pulmonary disease, rheumatoid diseases and infection susceptibility during 8-year follow-up. In addition, the researchers found that the biomarker was also associated with mortality risk in individuals who already had cardiovascular disease where higher levels of chronic inflammation was associated with mortality risk during 12-year follow-up. The absolute cardiovascular mortality risk difference between lowest and highest quintile was 16%.

"Most interesting finding from this study was that low-level chronic inflammation is associated with risk of such a broad spectrum of diseases in generally healthy population. Also, it was striking how strong the association was with mortality risk in secondary prevention of cardiovascular patients," says professor Johannes Kettunen from the University of Oulu, Finland. "We were able to further elucidate the connection between chronic inflammation and mortality risk", Kettunen continues.

The research was conducted in collaboration with several Finnish, Australian and UK universities and research institutes.

Biomarkers are biological measures from blood or tissue samples. All people usually have these markers, however, the levels of the biomarker vary between individuals.

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