Age-associated chronic diseases require age-old medicine: role of chronic inflammation

Prev Med. 2012 May;54 Suppl(Suppl):S29-37. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.11.011. Epub 2011 Dec 9.


Most chronic diseases--such as cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, arthritis, diabetes and obesity--are becoming leading causes of disability and death all over the world. Some of the most common causes of these age-associated chronic diseases are lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption. All the risk factors linked to these chronic diseases have been shown to up-regulate inflammation. Therefore, downregulation of inflammation-associated risk factors could prevent or delay these age-associated diseases. Although modern science has developed several drugs for treating chronic diseases, most of these drugs are enormously expensive and are associated with serious side effects and morbidity. In this review, we present evidence on how chronic inflammation leads to age-associated chronic disease. Furthermore, we discuss diet and lifestyle as solutions for age-associated chronic disease.

Keywords: aging; chronic disease; diet; inflammation; life style.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Chronic Disease / prevention & control*
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Inflammation / diet therapy
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Risk Reduction Behavior