Respiratory disease or infection may result in increased risk of heart attack, a recent study claimed. However, the overall risk associated with a single instance of respiratory infection is low, according to the researchers.
The study population included 578 people, who had lately suffered a heart attack. The research reported that 17% of the total sample population experienced respiratory infection a week before a heart attack, and 21% of the population in the past month. The intensity of heart attack after the respiratory infection is 17 times higher than normal cases.
During the study, the researchers considered several types of infections of upper respiratory tract like a common cold, sore throat, hay fever. Study author, Lorcan Ruane said that the participants, diagnosed with mild upper-respiratory tract infection, showed less increase of heart attack risk that further increased to 13 times.
Since the upper-respiratory tract infections are less severe and more common than the lower-respiratory-tract infections, there is intense need to understand their link to the heart attack, as explained by Lorcan.
Dr. Geoffrey Tofler, Cardiologist, University of Sydney, Royal North Shore Hospital and Heart Research Australia, said, “Possible reasons for why respiratory infection may trigger a heart attack include an increased tendency towards blood clotting, inflammation and toxins damaging blood vessels, and changes in blood flow.”
He also suggested that one-time respiratory infection may trigger the risk up to a minor level, but constant issues may adversely impact the health. Preventive measures should be taken to avoid the heart attack.
He concluded, “The next step is to identify treatment strategies to decrease this risk of heart attack, particularly in individuals who may have increased susceptibility.”