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Several recent reports show that a person's chance of suffering a heart attack is associated with the number of infections with chlamydia, cytomegalovirus and helicobacter they have. A recent paper from the Netherlands shows that the same germs also are associated with peripheral artery disease in which arteriosclerotic plaques block blood flow to the extremities.

The paper shows that the more bacteria or viruses that infect you, the more likely you are to have blocked arteries. The authors also showed that risk for blocked arteries is higher in patients having high blood levels of C-reactive protein, a test that shows inflammation, which is a measure of arterial damage. Chlamydia can cause a sore throat, cough, burning on urination, vaginal irritation or no symptoms at all. Helicobacter causes belching and burning in the stomach or no symptoms at all. Cytomegalovirus causes tiredness, swollen lymph nodes; it also may have no symptoms.

Chlamydia pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori and cytomegalovirus infections and the risk of peripheral arterial disease in young women. Atherosclerosis, 2002, Vol 163, Iss 1, pp 149-156. DGM Bloemenkamp, WPTM Mali, BC Tanis, FR Rosendaal, MAAJ vandenBosch, JM Kemmeren, A Algra, JM Ossewaarde, FLJ Visseren, AM vanLoon, Y vanderGraaf. van der Graaf Y, Univ Med Ctr Utrecht, Julius Ctr Patient Oriented Res, Room D-01-335, POB 85500, Heidelberglaan 100, NL-3508 GA Utrecht, NETHERLANDS

Checked 9/3/05

May 21st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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