by Pierre S Aoukar, MD and Hratch L Karamanoukian, MD
Posted: February 16
Donít go running for your stores of unfinished penicillin prescriptions just yet. Still under intense study is the theory that microbes may be an underlying trigger for the development of heart disease. The leading culprit is Chlamydia pneumoniae, a cousin to the organism that is sexually transmitted. It is already well known that viruses cause pericarditis, an inflammation of the sac around the heart, particularly in kids. However, this new theory is that our body has an inflammatory response to microorganisms that seed in our coronary arteries, thus triggering the process of plaque formation and eventually leading to atherosclerosis or narrowing of the arteries. Furthermore, there are studies underway to investigate a link between poor dental hygiene and atherosclerosis with the same underlying etiology. There are currently no recommendations for prescribing antibiotics to prevent heart disease, but be on the look out. Please make sure your partner has nice teeth before you take it to the next step and take a sexual history, you may still want to reach for the penicillin.
Antibiotics, Introduction to Heart Disease, Excerpt from the book: Everything Good For The Heart: The A to Z Guide, Aoukar PS and Karamanoukian HL. Magalhaes Scientific Press
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