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Healthy Heart Reports

Peripheral Artery Disease

Several recent reports show that a person's chance of suffering a heart attack is associated with the number of infections with chlamydia, cytomegalovirus and helicobacter they have. A recent paper from the Netherlands shows that the same germs also are associated with peripheral artery disease in which arteriosclerotic plaques block blood flow to the extremities.

The paper shows that the more bacteria or viruses that infect you, the more likely you are to have blocked arteries. The authors also showed that risk for blocked arteries is higher in patients having high blood levels of C-reactive protein, a test that shows inflammation, which is a measure of arterial damage. Chlamydia can cause a sore throat, cough, burning on urination, vaginal irritation or no symptoms at all. Helicobacter causes belching and burning in the stomach or no symptoms at all. Cytomegalovirus causes tiredness, swollen lymph nodes; it also may have no symptoms.

Chlamydia pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori and cytomegalovirus infections and the risk of peripheral arterial disease in young women. Atherosclerosis, 2002, Vol 163, Iss 1, pp 149-156. DGM Bloemenkamp, WPTM Mali, BC Tanis, FR Rosendaal, MAAJ vandenBosch, JM Kemmeren, A Algra, JM Ossewaarde, FLJ Visseren, AM vanLoon, Y vanderGraaf. van der Graaf Y, Univ Med Ctr Utrecht, Julius Ctr Patient Oriented Res, Room D-01-335, POB 85500, Heidelberglaan 100, NL-3508 GA Utrecht, NETHERLANDS


Copyright 2002
Dr. Mirkin's opinions and the references cited are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe. For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.

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