Chronic Inflammation Associated With Increased Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease Interview with:
Dr Alex Dregan
Lecturer in Translational Epidemiology and Public Health,
Division of Primary Care and Public Health Research
King’s College London, London

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Dregan: Our study showed that chronic inflammation was associated with increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, specifically type II diabetes and coronary heart disease. The risk of cardiovascular disease increased with the severity of inflammatory disorders. In addition, inflammation also increased the risk of multiple morbidity (two or more cardiovascular diseases).

Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Dregan: Currently the evidence for the role of inflammation in cardiovascular disease is limited to single disease single inflammatory disorder. Very limited evidence exists about the risk of cardiovascular disease in less common inflammatory disorders (e.g. vasculitis, ulcerative colitis). Our study indicated an across the board association between inflammatory disorder and several cardiovascular diseases.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Dregan: Current management guidelines tend to be generally condition specific. It may be desirable to have a lower threshold for starting preventive medical interventions in most chronic inflammatory conditions. Also, in inflammatory patients a higher CRP threshold should be used to identify patients at increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Dregan: Greater focus should be placed on understanding the mechanisms through which inflammatory disorders increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in different population groups (e.g. men and women, old and young people). The impact of different anti-inflammatory medication on the risk for cardiovascular disease is another important area for future research.


Chronic Inflammatory Disorders and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Coronary Heart Disease, and Stroke: A Population-Based Cohort Study

Alex Dregan, Judith Charlton, Phil Chowienczyk, and Martin C. Gulliford

Circulation. 2014;CIRCULATIONAHA.114.009990published online before print June 26 2014, doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.009990