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Myriad scientific papers show that heart attacks may be caused by infection with chlamydia and other bacteria and viruses. Most main-stream heart specialists feel that infection with chlamydia can cause heart attacks, but most doctors are afraid to prescribe new treatments.

Most people who develop fatty plaques in their arteries have been infected with chlamydia (25) and many people with arteriosclerotic heart disease carry chlamydia in their mouths (26). I recommend a short course of doxycycline or azithromycin to A) people and their sexual partners who have had heart attacks or strokes, or who are at high risk for heart attacks because of extensive arteriosclerosis and B) have a positive antibody blood test for chlamydia or mycoplasma. In one year, most physicians will do the same, but now most physicians disagree with me even though studies show that antibiotics prevent heart attacks (10,28).

Previous studies show that chlamydia is associated with (11,8) and has been found repeatedly in plaques that form in arteries to cause heart attacks (1,2,13,20), high blood pressure (15) and strokes (16). Antibodies combine with chlamydia to form immune complexes that convert the bad LDL cholesterol to oxidized cholesterol to form plaques in arteries (3,4,5). People with high blood levels of C-reactive protein, an indicator of infection, are the ones most likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes (19), and aspirin reduces inflammation (29) caused by infection in the inner lining of arteries and prevents heart attacks (6). People who have had heart attacks are more likely to die if they have high blood levels of C-reactive protein (12). Being infected with chlamydia is associated with increased risk for heart attacks (21,23,25,31) and having chlamydia increases a heart attack victim's chances of suffering another heart attack fourfold (7), presumably by increasing susceptibility to clotting (17). Treating with azithromycin, an antibiotics that kills chlamydia, prevents second heart attacks (7). An antibiotic that kills chlamydia helped relieve symptoms in people with angina chest pain (8). Herpes simplex and cytomegalovirus have also been associated with heart attacks (22). To prevent heart attacks, eat a low fat, high-fiber diet and treat chronic infections.

1) TC Moazed, CC Kuo, JT Grayston, LA Campbell. Murine models of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection and atherosclerosis. Journal of Infectious Diseases 175: 4 (APR 1997):883-890.

2) JL Mehta, TGP Saldeen, K Rand. Interactive role of infection, inflammation and traditional risk factors in atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 31: 6(MAY 1998):1217-1225.

3) T Watanabe, S Haraoka, T Shimokama. Inflammatory and immunological nature of atherosclerosis. International Journal of Cardiology 54: Suppl. (AUG 1996):S51-S60.

4) RH Fryer, EP Schwobe, ML Woods, GM Rodgers. Chlamydia species infect human vascular endothelial cells and induce procoagulant activity. Journal of Investigative Medicine 45: 4 (APR 1997):168-174.

5) RW Wissler, AL Roberts, JP Strong, JF Cornhill, and more than 55 others. Atheroarteritis: A combined immunological and lipid imbalance. International Journal of Cardiology 54: Suppl.(AUG 1996):S37-S49. Address: RW Wissler, Univ Chicago, Med Ctr, Dept Pathol, 5841 S Maryland Ave, Chicago, IL 60637 USA.

6) Ridker PM et al. Inflammation, aspirin and the risk of cadiovascular disease in apparently healthy men. NEJM 1997(April 3);336(14):973-979.

7) Gupta S et al. Circulation 1997;96:404-407. 8) Lancet August 9, 1997. Conclusions An increased anti-Cp antibody titre may be a predictor for further adverse cardiovascular events in post-MI patients. Taking a short course of azithromycin may lower this risk, possibly by acting against Cp. S Gupta, EW Leatham, D Carrington, MA Mendall, JC Kaski, AJ Camm. Elevated Chlamydia pneumoniae antibodies, cardiovascular events, and azithromycin in male survivors of myocardial infarction. Circulation 96: 2 (JUL 15 1997):404-407.

8) M Maass, E Krause, PM Engel, S Kruger. Endovascular presence of Chlamydia pneumoniae in patients with hemodynamically effective carotid artery stenosis. Angiology 48: 8 (AUG 1997):699-706.

9) S Wallbergjonsson, ML Ohman, SR Dahlqvist. Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients with seropositive rheumatoid arthritis in northern Sweden. Journal of Rheumatology 24: 3 (MAR 1997):445- 451. Mortality and death due to CVD and IHD were in both sexes increased in seropositive RA. Male sex and high age at disease onset predicted death and cardiovascular event.

10) N Osseigerning, P Moayyedi, S Smith, D Braunholtz, JI Wilson, ATR Axon, PJ Grant. Helicobacter pylori infection is related to atheroma in patients undergoing coronaryangiography. Cardiovascular Research 35: 1 (JUL 1997):120-124.

11) F Blasi, R Cosentini, R Raccanelli, FM Massari, C Arosio, P Tarsia, L Allegra. A possible association of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection and acute myocardial infarction in patients younger than 65 years of age. Chest 112: 2 (AUG 1997):309-312.

12) H Toss, B Lindahl, A Siegbahn, L Wallentin. Prognostic influence of increased fibrinogen and C-reactive protein levels in unstable coronary artery disease. Circulation 96: 12 (DEC 16 1997):4204-4210.

13) S Mazzoli, N Tofani, A Fantini, F Semplici, F Bandini, A Salvi, R Vergassola. Chlamydia pneumoniae antibody response in patients with acute myocardial infarction and their follow-up. American Heart Journal 135: 1 (JAN 1998):15-20.

14) JB Muhlestein, JL Anderson, EH Hammond, LP Zhao, S Trehan, EP Schwobe, JF Carlquist. Infection with Chlamydia pneumoniae accelerates the development of atherosclerosis and treatment with azithromycin prevents it in a rabbit model. Circulation 97: 7 (FEB 24 1998):633-636.

15) PJ Cook, D Honeybourne, GYH Lip, DG Beevers, R Wise, P Davies. Chlamydia pneumoniae antibody titers are significantly associated with acute stroke and transient cerebral ischemia: The West Birmingham Stroke Project. Stroke 29: 2 (FEB 1998):404-410.

16) PJ Cook, GYH Lip, P Davies, DG Beevers, R Wise, D Honeybourne. Chlamydia pneumoniae antibodies in severe essential hypertension. Hypertension 31: 2 (FEB 1998):589-594.

17) H Toss, J Gnarpe, H Gnarpe, A Siegbahn, B Lindahl, L Wallentin. Increased fibrinogen levels are associated with persistent Chlamydia pneumoniae infection in unstable coronary artery disease. European Heart Journal 19: 4 (APR 1998):570-577.

18) TC Quinn. Does Chlamydia pneumoniae cause coronary heart disease? Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases 11: 3 (1998):301-307.

19) PM Ridker, RJ Glynn, CH Hennekens. C-Reactive protein adds to the predictive value of total and HDL cholesterol in determining risk of first myocardial infarction. Circulation 97:

20 (MAY 26 1998):2007-2011. 20) M Maass. Persistence of Chlamydia pneumoniae in human atherosclerotic plaques material - Evidence and consequences. Herz 23: 3 (MAY 1998):178-184.

21) W Stille, R Dittmann. Atherosclerosis as consequence of chronic infection by Chlamydia pneumoniae. Herz 23: 3 (MAY 1998):185-192.

22) M Herzum, JR Schaefer, G Hufnagel, B Maisch. Cytomegalo- and herpesvirus in pathogenesis and progression of native atherosclerosis and of restenosis after intervention. Herz 23: 3 (MAY 1998):193-196.

23) TC Quinn. Does Chlamydia pneumoniae cause coronary heart disease? Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases 11: 3 (1998):301-307.

24) JL Anderson, JF Carlquist, JB Muhlestein, BD Horne, SP Elmer. Evaluation of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker, and infectious serology as risk factors for coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 32: 1(JUL 1998):35-41.

25) M Davidson, CC Kuo, JP Middaugh, LA Campbell, SP Wang, WP Newman, JC Finley, JT Grayston. Confirmed previous infection with Chlamydia pneumoniae (TWAR) and its presence in early coronary atherosclerosis. Circulation 98: 7 (AUG 18 1998):628-633.

26) AS Gabriel, H Gnarpe, J Gnarpe, H Hallander, O Nyquist, A Martinsson. The prevalence of chronic Chlamydia pneumoniae infection as detected by polymerase chain reaction in pharyngeal samples from patients with ischaemic heart disease. European Heart Journal 19: 9 (SEP 1998):1321-1327. 2

27) L Capron, B Wyplosz. Infectious theory of atherosclerosis. Archives Des Maladies du Coeur et Des Vaisseaux 91: Sp. Iss. 5 (OCT 1998):21-26. one virus (cytomegalovirus) and two bacteria (Chlamydia pneumoniae and Helicobacter pylori)

28) E Gurfinkel, G Bozovich, E Beck, E Testa, B Livellara, B Mautner. Treatment with the antibiotic roxithromycin in patients with acute non-Q-wave coronary syndromes - The final report of the ROXIS study. European Heart Journal 20: 2 (JAN 1999):121-127. prevents death and re-infarction for at least 6 months after initial treatment.

29) T Watanabe, JL Fan. Atherosclerosis and inflammation - Mononuclear cell recruitment and adhesion molecules with reference to the implication of ICAM-1/LFA-1 pathway in atherogenesis. International Journal of Cardiology 66: Suppl. 1(OCT 1 1998):S45-S53. 30)I Abdelmouttaleb, N Danchin, C Ilardo, I Aimonegastin, M Angioi, A Lozniewski, J Loubinoux, A Lefaou, JL Gueant. C-reactive protein and coronary artery disease: Additional evidence of the implication of an Inflammatory process in acute coronary syndromes. American Heart Journal 137: 2 (FEB 1999):346-351.

30) P Jousilahti, V Salomaa, V Rasi, E Vahtera. Symptoms of chronic bronchitis, haemostatic factors, and coronary heart disease risk. Atherosclerosis 142: 2 (FEB 1999):403-407.

31) LJ Murray, DPJ OReilly, GML Ong, C ONeill, AE Evans, KB Bamford. Chlamydia pneumoniae antibodies are associated with an atherogenic lipid profile. Heart, 1999, Vol 81, Iss 3, pp 239-244.

32) G Bauriedel, U Welsch, JA Likungu, A Welz, B Luderitz.Chlamydia pneumoniae in coronary plaques: Increased detection with acute coronary syndrome. Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift, 1999, Vol 124, Iss 13, pp 375-380.

33)LA Jackson, NL Smith, SR Heckbert, JT Grayston, DS Siscovick, BM Psaty. Lack of association between first myocardial infarction and past use of erythromycin, tetracycline, or doxycycline.Emerging Infectious Diseases, 1999, Vol 5, Iss 2, pp 281-284.

34)AE Schussheim, V Fuster. Antibiotics for myocardial infarction? A possible role of infection in atherogenesis and acute coronary syndromes. Drugs, 1999, Vol 57, Iss 3, pp 283-291.

35) R Sessa, M DiPietro, I Santino, M delPiano, A Varveri, A Dagianti, M Penco.Chlamydia pneumoniae infection and atherosclerotic coronary disease.American Heart Journal, 1999, Vol 137, Iss 6, pp 1116-1119.

36)SS Carlisle, MC Nahata.Chlamydia pneumoniae and coronary heart disease.Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 1999, Vol 33, Iss 5, pp 615-622.

37)S Tommasi, E Carluccio, M Bentivoglio, M Buccolieri, M Mariotti, M Politano, L Corea.C-reactive protein as a marker for cardiac ischemic events in the year after a first, uncomplicated myocardial infarction.American Journal of Cardiology, 1999, Vol 83, Iss 12, pp 1595-1599 CRP implies increased risk fo dieing..

38)FJ Nieto, AR Folsom, PD Sorlie, JT Grayston, SP Wang, LE Chambless. Chlamydia pneumoniae infection and incident coronary heart disease - The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.American Journal of Epidemiology, 1999, Vol 150, Iss 2, pp 149-156.

39) Dechend, M Maass, J Gieffers, R Dietz, C Scheidereit, A Leutz, DC Gulba.Chlamydia pneumoniae infection of vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells activates NF-kappa B and induces tissue factor and PAI-1 expression - A potential link to accelerated arteriosclerosis.Circulation, 1999, Vol 100, Iss 13, pp 1369-1373.

Checked 7/8/07

May 29th, 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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