Heart Attack Risk May Go Up Following Respiratory Infection

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

The researchers looked at 578 AMI patients and found that 17 percent had experienced symptoms of respiratory infection within seven days before the AMI, and 21 percent 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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