Respiratory Infections May Trigger Acute Myocardial Infarction

HealthDay News — The risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) increases sharply after a respiratory infection, according to a study published in the Internal Medicine Journal.

The researchers looked at 578 AMI patients and found that 17% had experienced symptoms of respiratory infection within 7 days before the AMI, and 21% within the prior month. The team concluded that the risk of AMI is 17 times higher in the week after a respiratory infection.

In a second analysis, the researchers focused on upper-respiratory tract infections.

“For those participants who reported milder upper-respiratory tract infection symptoms, the risk increase was less, but was still elevated by 13-fold,” study author Lorcan Ruane, from the University of Sydney, said in a university news release. “Although upper-respiratory infections are less severe, they are far more common than lower-respiratory tract symptoms. Therefore, it is important to understand their relationship to the risk of heart attacks.”

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Ruane L, Buckley T, Hoo SYS, Hansen PS, McCormack C, Shaw E, Fethney J, Toffer GH. Triggering of acute myocardial infarction by respiratory infection. Intern Med J. 2017 May;47(5):522-529. doi: 10.1111/imj.13377.