It may sound strange and incredible to many, but the fact remains that scientists have found a significant link between respiratory infections and heart attack. A team of researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia has found that respiratory infections raise heart attack risk by 17 times.
The new study published in the journal of Internal Medicine and reported on Medical News Today– found that respiratory infections such as pneumonia, common influenza and bronchitis all seem to increase the chances of having a heart attack.
This may give credence to the frequent occurrence of heart failures among Nigerians, to which significant causes cannot be found. It is imperative that more research is conducted on t his subject in our locality, an experience healthcare practitioner opined.
According to the researchers who observed 578 patients who had a heart attack due to a blockage in their coronary arteries, found that the patients reported on their history of respiratory infection, including bronchitis and pneumonia, and they gave information on their most recent infections and how often they tend to get an infection.
Symptoms that the patients were queried about included sore throat, cough, fever, sinus pain, and other flu-like symptoms.
The report indicated that the patients were admitted to the Royal North Shore Hospital in New South Wales, Australia. The diagnosis of a heart attack was confirmed by coronary angiography, a special X-ray test used to detect whether or not coronary arteries are blocked and to what extent.
It was also stated that the second analysis in a group of patients with upper respiratory tract infections, was conducted including colds, pharyngitis, sinusitis, and rhinitis.
Rather, the risk is at its highest during the first 7 days, then decreases slightly, only to remain steadily high for as much as a month.
In the words of Associate professor and study investigator Thomas Buckley, from Sydney Nursing School: “The incidence of heart attacks is highest during winter in Australia. This winter peak is seen not only in Australia but also in other countries around the world is likely due in part to the increased incidence of respiratory infections. People should take measures to reduce exposure to infection, including flu and pneumonia vaccines where appropriate.”