Chronic Inflammation And The Cardiovascular System – A Deadly Combination

2011-02-23 | |
Last updated: 2011-02-23
Inflammation And The Cardiovascular System

When the immune system is working as it should, inflammation plays an essential role in the body’s defenses. Its effect on the tissues serves as a first line of defense against foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria and acts to limit the damage that they can do. However, when inflammation persists even without external threats, it can have serious effects on overall health.

Within the last few years, research from various institutions has identified inflammation within the body as a significant contributor to disease. Among the most well-published effects that chronic inflammation can have on health are the artery-clogging implications of Atherosclerosis. Although this is the probably the best known effect on the circulatory system associated with the symptom, it really is just the tip of the iceberg.

What Are The Effects Of Inflammation On Cardiovascular Health?

Heart Disease

Looking back from the arteries to the heart, we find that ongoing inflammation is linked to heart disease. In particular, research from Harvard University linked the chronic joint inflammation amongst people with uncontrolled Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) with an increased risk for clots that can cause heart attacks and strokes. Additional research has also shown that patients with RA reduce their risk somewhat when they take medications that reduce swelling or offer some control of the disease.

Blood Clots In The Lungs

The blood clots that result from the immune system always being at an elevated level of activity pose additional problems beyond heart attack and stroke. Researcher published only recently in the British Medical Journal identified that the risk of blood clots lodging in the legs or lungs was more than double amongst patients who suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases. For those 20 years of age or less, the risk of such blood flow blockages was six times higher than the regular population.

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Category: Health Risks, Medical Research, Symptom Information

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