If there is one thing all diseases have in common, it’s inflammation. Whether you are suffering from the common cold, diabetes, or cancer, your body’s natural reaction is to try and neutralise the infection, repair the wound, or restore reactive processes back to normal. All these processes create inflammation.
Controlled amounts of inflammation at the right time are beneficial. But if allowed to persist for long periods of time, even at low levels, the consequences of inflammation can be disastrous. Inflammation creates oxidative stress, and out-of-control free radicals can overwhelm our natural antioxidant supply resulting in a cascade of events that age us and increase our risk of disease.
Researchers from the China Medical University followed 24,267 newly diagnosed patients with chronic osteomyelitis (COM)– a difficult-to-treat bone infection that typically evokes intense inflammation within bony structures and nearby soft tissues.
COM has already been associated with an increased risk of other inflammatory disorders such as coronary artery disease, dementia, and stroke. The authors of this study published in Medicine, set out to determine if COM also increased the risk of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) (also called kidney failure) – a condition characterized by complex inflammatory processes that is becoming a major public health concern worldwide.
They discovered the overall risk of ESRD in people with COM was twice that of people without. The news was worse for younger people aged 20-34 years who were 18 times more likely to develop kidney failure than healthy individuals of a similar age.
The authors concluded that treatments that focus on the body-wide effects that inflammation has, rather than specific diseases, might ultimately help prevent further disease.
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