A recent study has found inflammation during adolescence connected to early death. I should say, may be associated with early death from cancer and cardiovascular disease. One study isn’t enough to prove a connection but to highlight an association, further study is warranted to examine how strongly inflammation during our youth is connected to an early death. Previous research has connected inflammation to cardiovascular disease and cancer but less is know regarding the long term consequences of early inflammation.
This study included 106,120 seemingly healthy men who had undergone medical examination to assess their ability to carry out military service. 99% of these men were between the ages of 18 and 20 at the time of their first evaluation. This study is more of an affect of inflammation during late adolescence. The mean length of follow-up time was 35 years during which 4835 men had died. 1105 men died due to cancer, 874 due to cardiovascular disease, 280 due to alcohol and/or drug use, and suicide, traffic accidents, and fall deaths amount to 1502 men. The investigators used erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) data as a nonspecific marker of inflammation. They noted that high ESR was strongly associated with death by cancer and cardiovascular disease. They also noted no statistically significant association between ESR and death from alcohol or drugs or suicide, traffic accidents, or falls.
According to the authors: “Results suggest that ESR among ostensibly healthy men in late adolescence marks something beyond that captured by manifested adolescent health conditions.” Basically that inflammation during late adolescence puts the health of young men at risk as they age. I say young men because no women were included in this study and the authors note that their findings may not be generalizable to women.
What does this mean to you, teach your children and grandchildren about good nutrition and proper exercise. Learn about how we can combat inflammation in our lives. Don’t live with pain, where there is pain there is inflammation. Look into anti-inflammatory foods. Please don’t expect to take an anti-inflammatory medication as the cure either. Those all come with side effects which will cause the same thing that inflammation does but through a different mechanism.