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Stomach infections may be associated with irregular heart rhythm

Research said that stomach infections caused by Helicobacter pylori might be responsible// for causing irregular heart rhythms.

Helicobacter pylori are common bacteria that reside in the digestive tracts of the people and causes stomach infections. Previous research had connected the bacteria with stomach cancer, ulcers in the digestive tracts, and ischemic heart disease.

Researchers have tested patients with persistent atrial fibrillation or irregular heart beats for the Helicobacter pylori bacteria and compared their results with those of healthy volunteers. The have used a battery of tests like heart tracing, levels of C reactive protein etc for systematic inflammations.

The results of the study showed that patients with persistent atrial fibrillation are 20 times more likely to have the Helicobacter pylori bacteria in their digestive tract than the healthy volunteers. The levels of C reactive proteins were also higher in these patients than in people who had only spasmodic episodes of irregular heart rhythm. Researchers said that chronic gastritis caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria might lead to conditions of persistent atrial fibrillation.

The results have come in the new issue of Heart journal.

Reference: Heart, June 2005

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