Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are well known risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. In the new study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, scientists associated pneumonia and urinary tract infection with an increased risk of myocardial infarction or stroke within the next three months.
Researchers have for several years studied a registry of patients in four U.S. cities. They watched 1312 patients with myocardial infarction or other type of coronary event, and 727 other patients who have had an ischemic stroke (caused by clot).
Among patients with heart disease: about 37% had some type of infection within the previous three months, among patients with stroke by almost 30%.
Infection significantly increased the likelihood of myocardial infarction or stroke compared with a year or two earlier in the same group of patients, and these odds were the highest in the first two weeks after infection. The most common were urinary tract infection, followed by pneumonia and other respiratory infections, was also reported infections of the skin and blood.
The fact that infections usually cause an inflammatory reaction in the body, to prevent infection activates production of leukocytes, but also increases the adhesiveness of platelets (adhesion to damaged vascular wall and leukocytes). It promotes the formation of clots that can block blood flow to the heart or brain.
The infection, apparently, is a trigger for a change of precisely customized balance in the blood and makes us more prone to thrombosis or clot formation. This is the trigger mechanism for the blood vessels were blocked and put us in a higher risk of such serious events, such as myocardial infarction and stroke, said the study’s lead author Dr. Laxminarayan Kamakshi (Kamakshi Lakshminarayan), neurologist and associate Professor of epidemiology at the Medical school of the University of Minnesota (University of Minnesotas Medical School).
The study included both hospitalized patients and receive outpatient care. Both groups had a higher risk of cardiovascular events within three months after infection, but this relationship was stronger among inpatients.
Likely to require hospitalization infection harder suggested Badimon Juan (Juan Badimon), Professor of medicine and Director of the atherothrombosis research at the Institute of cardiovascular surgery mount Sinai hospital (Mount Sinai School of Medicines Cardiovascular Institute) in new York city: a stronger inflammatory response will lead to higher cardiovascular risks.
The study raises the question of whether hospitalized with infection patients to receive treatment to protect against cardiovascular diseases. In addition, you should delve deeper and determine what is the nature of the source of infection, which increases the risk of viral or bacterial. The answers to these questions can provide more research.
One of the main insights is that we should prevent these infections when possible. And that means flu shots and vaccine against pneumonia, especially for older people, concluded Lakshminarayan.