Serious lung inflections may increase heart attack risk

Credit: Anna Shvets.

In a study from Vanderbilt University, scientists found that people with serious pneumococcal infections, including pneumonia and sepsis, are at a strongly increased risk of a heart attack.

Prior research has found that infections may lead to systemic inflammatory responses that can trigger the development of major heart disease events, including heart attacks.

However, the specific risks associated with pneumococcal infections, especially invasive pneumococcal disease, are less clearly understood.

In the study, researchers examined the rate of heart attacks in people with invasive pneumococcal disease compared to control periods without infection among Tennessee residents from 2004 to 2019.

They found that among people with pneumococcal pneumonia and sepsis, the risk of a heart attack diagnosis was highest in the first week after the onset of the infection.

Though the risk did decline over time, the risk of heart attack remained elevated for the entire year after compared to the year before the infection.

The team says the pneumococcal disease is vaccine preventable, it is possible that the ongoing routine administration of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines to older adults, as currently recommended by CDC, could reduce the burden of a heart attack.

Future studies will be important to determine whether pneumococcal vaccination is indeed protective against heart attacks and other cardiovascular outcomes.

For now, these results should be considered by patients and their providers when deciding whether to get a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

If you care about lung health, please read studies about why Viagra may be useful in treating lung diseases, and scientists find herbal supplement to treat lung cancer.

For more information about health, please see recent studies that coconut sugar could help reduce artery stiffness, and results showing fungi causing deadly lung infections found throughout the US.

The study was conducted by Andrew Wiese et al and published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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