As one ages, inflammation throughout the body reaches higher levels. It is known as inflammageing which can inhibit immunity.
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Why in news?
- Because the most severe Covid-19 cases have occurred mostly in older people, researchers are investigating whether inflammageing has a role or not in it.
- It is characterised by chronic low-grade inflammation, which occurs without an infection.
- While inflammation is essential to the immune response, inflammageing is not.
- Research has shown that this state of elevated inflammation can worsen many age-related diseases and further inhibit the response from an already declining immune system.
- It may the trigger that causes extreme inflammatory responses, which are common in the lungs of severe Covid-19 patients.
Impact of inflammageing on immunity in ageing individuals:
- As our immune system weakens with age, our bodily defence systems respond more slowly to bacterial and viral infections, leaving the elderly more vulnerable.
- Reducing inflammation using anti-inflammatory drugs may provide a therapeutic strategy, not only for enhancing immunity but also for potentially improving Covid-19 outcomes in older patients.