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And now they say infections can cause heart disease!!!!

Most people are paranoid about heart disease. One survey said that of all ailments people are most worried about AIDS/HIV, hepatitis and heart disease. Whenever people get to read something on heart disease, they get so engrossed in it that they start worrying at times over trivial problems based on the assumption that it could lead to heart disease. However a recent study conducted in Austria says that chronic infections can predispose to heart problems. This will make many people sit up and listen. One of the researchers, Stefan Kiechl, MD, says that individuals with infections like sinusitis, bronchitis, or even urinary tract infections are three times more likely to have a progression of atherosclerosis, the disease that leads to blocked arteries, than are people who are infection-free. The findings are reported in the current issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association. One link between infection and atherosclerosis may be inflammation, Kiechl says. When an infection occurs, it triggers an inflammatory response by the body's immune system. Also infections can release endotoxins, which can damage the inner lining of blood vessels causing atherosclerosis. However there is no need to cry over the latest findings, as this will enable us to be aware of the complications of chronic infections, which we normally tend to brush aside. Some lifestyle modifications like stopping smoking, improving dental hygiene, and better nutrition can lessen the chances of infections there by reducing the risk of contracting heart disease. So the next time you have a nagging infection, don’t ignore it consult your doctor. As the golden rule goes, prevention is better than cure!!!

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