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Healthy Heart Reports

More On Infection Causing Heart Attacks

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that a test for infection is a better predictor of susceptibility to a heart attack than blood cholesterol levels.

Many doctors still do not believe the more than 400 studies that show that infection with a bacteria called chlamydia causes heart attacks. C-reactive protein measures the body's ability to produce an antibody to kill a very common and serious bacteria called pneumococcus. Doctors order the test to see if a person has an infection because it can turn positive with any infection.

It still is a good idea to lower your cholesterol by reducing your intake of fatty meats, chicken and high fat diary products and eats lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. With the recent strong evidence e that heart attacks are caused by chlamydia infections, many doctors now prescribe a one-week course of Biaxin, Zithromax or dirithromycin to their patients at high risk for a heart attacks.

PM Ridker, CH Hennekens, JE Buring, N Rifai..C-reactive protein and other markers of inflammation in the prediction of cardiovascular disease in women. New England Journal of Medicine, 2000, Vol 342, Iss 12, pp 836-843. NEJM March 23, 2000


Copyright 2000
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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