In a new study, researchers found that long-term use of antibiotics may increase risks of heart disease and stroke in women.
They found that women who take antibiotics over a long period of time are more likely to have a heart attack or a stroke.
The research was conducted by a team from Tulane University.
In the study, the team examined 36,429 women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study.
The most common reasons for antibiotic use were respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and dental problems.
They found that women aged 60 or older who took antibiotics for two months or more had the greatest risk of heart disease.
These women were 32% more likely to develop heart disease compared with women who did not use antibiotics.
In women aged 40-59, long duration of antibiotic use was also linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
They were 28% more likely to develop heart disease compared with women who did not use antibiotics.
There was no increased risk from antibiotic use in younger adults aged between 20-39.
The researchers suggest that this may be because antibiotics can alter the balance of the microenvironment in the gut.
This can destroy “good” probiotic bacteria and increase viruses, bacteria or other micro-organisms that can cause heart disease.
Previous research has shown that changes in the gut microbiome are linked to narrowing of the blood vessels, stroke, and heart disease.
The current finding suggests that there may be a cumulative effect causing a stronger link in older age between antibiotic use and heart disease.
This is one of the largest studies to examine the link between antibiotic use and the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The lead author of the study is Lu Qi, director of the Tulane University Obesity Research Center.
The study is published in the European Heart Journal.
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