February is Heart Disease Awareness Month and we are being constantly reminded of all the well-known heart disease risk-factors such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. However, did you know that common infections like the flu, urinary tract infections (UTIs), sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia, oral infections like gingivitis, viral infections like herpes or hepatitis, bacterial infections like staphylococcus, and yeast infections can all trigger heart attacks and strokes?
Researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Medical School published their findings in the Journal of the American Heart Association. They found that “infections generally trigger an inflammatory reaction in the body. The body triggers its white cell production to help ward off an infection, but that process also increases the stickiness of cells called platelets. This encourages the formation of clots that could block the flow of blood to the heart or brain.” The researchers believe that prevention is key and suggests that everyone, especially seniors, take advantage of the availability of vaccines to try to prevent infections in the first place.
Source: American Heart Association News