Everyday our body’s immune and detoxification systems are working to protect us from pathogens, cancerous cells, foreign substances, and chemical exposures. Declining trends in per capita longevity in the US suggest that these systems are being stressed beyond their natural resiliency. Several of these trends are discussed in light of funding for preventive vs. illness care. The authors then use a systems and interdisciplinary approach to introduce the immunobiological and biotransformation systems, and the concept of the exposome for those unfamiliar. The science of the immune and detoxification systems is explored considering the idea of chronic low-level inflammation. Additionally, new research is discussed that is shedding light on how these systems help to regulate inflammation in the human body and how their dysregulation might be a triggering factor for chronic disease states or flares of chronic disease conditions predicated on inflammation. The social/cultural conditions of stress and the roles that they play in inflammation and disease states is also explored. The paper concludes with thoughts about emerging technologies in the nanotechnology and artificial intelligence areas and the roles that these might play in furthering an understanding of current health trends by expanding public health researchers’ and practitioners' abilities to query large data sets and calculate the cumulative impacts of multiple exposure sources and types. Specific suggestions for addressing 21st century information and data needs to address population health concerns while collaborating outside of traditional fields conclude the paper.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Zeman, C.L., Shrestha, J., Khan, R.K., Ogniz Wilson, A.N., & Beltz, L.A. (2023). Chronic Disease and the Inflammatory Body Burden: Social and Environmental Factors and Implications for Longevity. In M. Shelley, V. Akerson, & S. Turgut (Eds.), Proceedings of IConEST 2023-- International Conference on Engineering, Science and Technology (pp. 121-135), Las Vegas, NV, USA. ISTES Organization. ISBN: 978-1-952092-49-7.