Flu, pneumonia may increase risk of heart attack, stroke in older adults: Study
|A new study has found that aged people who are diagnosed with flu or pneumonia are six times more likely to suffer from heart attack or stroke in the days after infection.|
A new study has found that aged people who are diagnosed with flu or pneumonia are
six times more likely to suffer from heart attack or stroke in the days after infection.
The research found that several different organisms that cause respiratory infections, including the influenza virus and S.pneumoniae -- most common pneumonia causing bacteria -- are responsible for causing inflammation in the heart.
This further leads to the development of blood clots in the heart muscle that heightens the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The findings said that having flu or pneumonia increases the risk of having a heart attack for up to a week after infection, and the risk of having a stroke is increased for one month.
While the risk of heart attacks and strokes in young, healthy people, after a respiratory
infection is low, the effect was found to be greater in people aged less than 65
years compared to those aged 65 and above, as well as people with pre-existing heart
diseases, the researchers said.
Researcher added,"As people age, having more than one medical condition becomes more common, so it is even more important to understand the links between different diseases. If we can understand who is at risk of these cardiovascular complications after respiratory infections, we can potentially intervene to prevent them, with methods such as vaccines."
The team investigated the rate of heart attacks and strokes, in 1,989 adults, in
the periods of time immediately after a respiratory infection, and then compared
this to the rate of cardiovascular events in other periods of time.
Vaccination could help protect against heart attacks and strokes after respiratory infection.