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Special Issue "A Public Health View on Chronic Aging Diseases"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 October 2023 | Viewed by 1362

Special Issue Editors

Department of Family Medicine, Medical Faculty, J. J. Strossmayer University of Osijek, Osijek, Croatia
Interests: methodology and statistics; especially new methodology approaches (machine learning in data from eHRs); aging diseases; multimorbidity; clinical immunology; integrated models of comorbidities
Prof. Dr. Martina Mihalj
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Medical Faculty, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, HR-31000 Osijek, Croatia
Interests: immunology; dermatology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

According to our current understanding of the aging process, chronic, low-grade inflammation is a major driver of aging and the development of age-related medical conditions. The main stimuli which trigger receptors of the innate immune system, initiating pro-inflammatory pathways, come from damaged or structurally changed tissues, disturbed gut microbiota, and metabolic challenges associated with changes in the body’s shape and glucose-mediated metabolism. The source of pro-inflammatory cytokines is also accumulated senescent tissue cells and lymphocytes which have lost their replicative capacity. In addition, chronic activation of the Th1/Th17 pro-inflammatory immune pathway may contribute to the maintenance of chronic inflammation. The dysfunctional endothelium of the microcirculation also plays an important role in inflammation augmentation, as it acts the place where immune and inflammatory cells are activated and dissipate to tissues. Environmental challenges, as well as pre-existing comorbidities, together with applied treatments, may accelerate aging processes. Changes in tissue structures and the replacement of functionally competent tissues with fibrotic tissues, as a consequence of immunologic and inflammatory reactions taking place in tissues and organs under aging conditions, lead to organ damage aggravation and the body’s overall functional decline. Many details of this complex network, from the macro-environmental level to the organ/tissue and microbiology levels, are poorly understood. It is difficult to validate the use of inflammatory markers for prediction purposes in clinical settings because of the intimate associations of these markers with the sociodemographic characteristics of the examined population and biomarkers indicating different disease pathways. By calling for papers for this Special Issue, we aim to seek clarification of this complex issue.

Prof. Dr. Ljiljana Trtica Majnarić
Prof. Dr. Martina Mihalj
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • aging of the immune system
  • chronic inflammation
  • tissue and organ damage
  • age-related chronic medical conditions and comorbidities
  • behavioral and environmental factors

Published Papers (1 paper)

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A Critical Appraisal of the Diagnostic and Prognostic Utility of the Anti-Inflammatory Marker IL-37 in a Clinical Setting: A Case Study of Patients with Diabetes Type 2
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(4), 3695; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20043695 - 19 Feb 2023
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Background: The role of the cytokine interleukin-37 (IL-37) has been recognized in reversing inflammation-mediated metabolic costs. The aim was to evaluate the clinical utility of this cytokine as a diagnostic and prognostic marker in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Methods: We included [...] Read more.
Background: The role of the cytokine interleukin-37 (IL-37) has been recognized in reversing inflammation-mediated metabolic costs. The aim was to evaluate the clinical utility of this cytokine as a diagnostic and prognostic marker in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Methods: We included 170 older (median: 66 years) individuals with T2D (females: 95) and classified as primary care attenders to assess the association of factors that describe patients with plasma IL-37 levels (expressed as quartiles) using multinomial regression models. We determined the diagnostic ability of IL-37 cut-offs to identify diabetes-related complications or patient subgroups by using Receiver Operating Characteristic analysis (c-statistics). Results: Frailty status was shown to have a suppressive effect on IL-37 circulating levels and a major modifying effect on associations of metabolic and inflammatory factors with IL-37, including the effects of treatments. Situations in which IL-37 reached a clinically significant discriminating ability included the model of IL-37 and C-Reactive Protein in differentiating among diabetic patients with low–normal/high BMI ((<25/≥25 kg/m2), and the model of IL-37 and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone in discriminating between women with/without metabolic syndrome. Conclusions: The study has revealed limitations in using classical approaches in determining the diagnostic and prognostic utility of the cytokine IL-37 in patients with T2D and lain a foundation for new methodology approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Public Health View on Chronic Aging Diseases)
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