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Emerging relationships of inflammation, cardiovascular disease and chronic diseases of aging


The last 10 y have seen an enormous surge in research focused on inflammation and atherosclerotic heart disease. In parallel, inflammation (used as a term to represent a broad array of response systems) has become a topic of interest in a number of different areas of chronic disease including type II diabetes, cognitive decline and frailty, among others. These discoveries are opening up many new opportunities for risk assessment. For example, markers of inflammation such as C-reactive protein are becoming established as important additions in helping to define those at the greatest risk of progressive vascular disease. These discoveries are also important in the area of risk management. Older medications now in wide use are being found to have previously unknown anti-inflammatory effects (eg, statins); these effects are now viewed as being important to the overall effectiveness of these compounds. In addition, the many different aspects of inflammation provide a wealth of targets for new therapeutics, which will be increasingly important as the population continues to age. Although daunting in complexity, studies on the relation of inflammation to disease have already proven useful, and hold promise for providing fundamental advances in both basic biology and clinical medicine.

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Correspondence to R P Tracy.

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Tracy, R. Emerging relationships of inflammation, cardiovascular disease and chronic diseases of aging. Int J Obes 27, S29–S34 (2003).

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  • inflammation
  • cardiovascular disease
  • elderly

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