Date: March 02, 2019
“A new study published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity sheds light on the complicated relationship between childhood poverty and inflammation. Poverty was “consistently and reliably” associated with inflammation in childhood, but the picture became more muddled when examining the influence of childhood socioeconomic status on inflammation in adulthood.
“As a (soon to be) clinical psychologist interested in integrated care in medical settings, I am skeptical about the dichotomy healthcare has historically created between mental and medical disorders and the disjointed way in which treatment is provided,” said study author Izabela Milaniak, a clinical psychology PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania.
“This is how I became interested in the research linking chronic inflammation as a common determinant of both medical diseases such as diabetes and chronic heart disease and what are traditionally thought of a psychological illness such as depression and anxiety disorders.”
“Prolonged activation of the immune system due to ‘fight or flight’ reactions to chronic exposure to stressful environments in childhood such as maltreatment and poverty is linked to over-activation of the immune system leading to wear and tear on the brain and the body resulting in a combination of both mental and medical illness later in adulthood,” Milaniak said.”