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Infections trigger heart attacks

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People were 17 times more likely People were 17 times more likely to have a myocardial infarction in the week after RTI symptoms

Several studies link respiratory tract infections (RTI) with an increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI). However, as most of the data did not include angiographic confirmation, researchers could not rule out that factors other than ischaemia caused the raised troponin levels or electrocardiographic abnormalities. Now a new study found that RTI symptoms were associated with a 17–fold increased risk of angiographically confirmed MI within the next seven days.

Researchers from Australia interviewed 578 patients within four days of hospitalisation for angiographically confirmed MI. Of these, 17% and 21% reported RTI symptoms within the seven and 35 days respectively before their MI.

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