Infections may cause atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction

More and more researchers have realized that a high LDL-cholesterol is not the main cause of cardiovascular disease, but none of them seems to have understood that it is just the opposite. As we have shown several years ago, elderly people with high LDL-cholesterol live just s long or longer than people with normal or low LDL-cholesterol, a finding which has been confirmed by 19 new studies.

Probably some researchers have understood that because they have introduced a new hypothesis. Their idea is that the cause is inflammation, because inflammation is a common finding in the tissue around a blocked coronary artery. Their hypothesis has resulted in the introduction of treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs as a prevention of cardiovascular disease.

What has been ignored is that inflammation is the body’s way to combat disease-provoking microorganisms. They have also ignored our hypothesis that a common cause of myocardial infection is infections. In accordance, several studies including more than 800,000 individuals have shown that treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs increase the risk of myocardial infarction.

There are many observations in support of our hypothesis. For instance, infections of the tissue around the teeth are associated  with  an  increased  risk of heart disease; the number who die from  a myocardial infarction increases during influenza epidemics; a third of patients with acute myocardial infarction have had an infectious disease  immediately  before onset; serological  markers  of  infection  are  increased  in patients with an acute myocardial infection and bacteremia and sepsis are found frequently in patients with cardiogenic shock caused by a heart attack. Furthermore, several studies have found that myocardial infarction and stroke are commonly seen after sepsis and other types of infections. That infections may participate in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis is also in accord with the findings of more than 50 types of bacteria and viruses within the arterial plaques and the absence of microorganisms in normal arteries. We therefore suggest to perform a blood culture of all patients with an acute myocardial infarction, and if it is positive, to treat the patients with a relevant antibiotic.

You can read more of that in our new paper published in Medical Research Archives

Best wishes

Uffe Ravnskov

I am an independent medical researcher