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Biological limits to reduction in rates of coronary heart disease: a punctuated equilibrium approach to immune cognition, chronic inflammation, and pathogenic social hierarchy

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Document pages: 22 pages

Abstract: On both empirical and theoretical grounds we find that a particular form of social hierarchy, here characterized as pathogenic , can, from the earliest phases of life, exert a formal analog to evolutionary selection pressure, literally writing a permanent image of itself upon immune function as chronic vascular inflammation and its consequences. The staged nature of resulting disease emerges naturally as an analog to punctuated equilibrium in evolutionary theory. Exposure differs according to the social constructs of race, class, and ethnicity, accounting in large measure for observed population-level differences in rates of coronary heart disease affecting industrialized societies. The system of American Apartheid, which enmeshes both majority and minority communities in a construct of pathogenic hierarchy, appears to present a severe biological limit to ultimate possible reductions in rates of coronary heart disease and related disorders for powerful as well as subordinate subgroups.

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