Lifestyle

Five Diseases That Can Increase Your Risk Of A Heart Condition

A number of diseases from STDs to pneumonia to flu and certain other common infections can have a significant health effect and result in a heart attack in susceptible people.

There are two major reasons why infections can lead to heart attacks. The first is that infections cause stress on the body and any stress like this can tip somebody over the edge to having a heart attack. Infections cause inflammation in the body which can worsen the process of plaque building up in the arteries.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
The British researchers who presented at the American College of Cardiology conference also studied UTIs, which they discovered had a similar heart-attack risk.

The study, tracked 34,000 patients, and is the largest to date that shows a correlation between common infections and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. People with a respiratory or urinary tract infection were 40 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack and 2.5 times more likely to have a stroke than patients who did not have an infection.

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Flu
A study out of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that influenza was one of the respiratory illnesses that raised the risk of a heart attack and stroke.

According to the study, risks increased among the study participants in the first few days after diagnosis. Receiving the flu vaccine did not increase the risk.

Bronchitis
bronchitis is a respiratory infection—resulting from inflammation of the lining of the lungs and it can raise the risk of a heart attack or stroke, according to the New England Journal of Medicine study.

The researchers found that heart attack risk increased by fivefold and stroke risk increased threefold during the first three days following the diagnosis of a respiratory infection. The risk declined over time, however, and was nearly normal within three months after recovering from the infection.

Pneumonia
A study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that patients who had lung infections requiring a hospital admission had a six times greater risk for cardiovascular disease the year after their illness when compared to people who hadn’t had the infections.

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Other respiratory infections
A study conducted by researchers at Ashton Medical School in Birmingham, UK, and presented at the American College of Cardiology conference this year found that respiratory infections could raise the risk of a heart attack and double the risk of a stroke caused by atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque in the arteries).

As a matter of fact, researchers said the risk could be greater than the risk posed by obesity and similar to the dangers of high blood pressure and diabetes.

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Nana K

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