How Do Stress and Inflammation Contribute to Chronic Disease?

Woman wearing sweater standing over gray wall background, rubbing her temples

The relationship between stress and inflammation has been studied rigorously in the past decade, with researchers finding evidence that the inflammatory pathway is pivotal in the pathogenesis of many chronic diseases.1 In fact, 75% to 90% of human disease is related to stress and inflammation, including cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and neurodegenerative disorders.1 Studies suggest that chronic stress results in glucocorticoid receptor resistance that, in turn, results in failure to downregulate inflammatory responses.2,3

In this video, IFM educator Patrick Hanaway, MD, describes the role of stress and inflammation in cardiovascular and cardiometabolic health: