Can microbes be behind some heart attacks?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. 

One of the most studied causes of heart disease is the atherosclerotic lesion, better known as plaque. This accumulation of cells, fats, minerals, and other organic material tend to accumulate in the arteries as we age. If buildup happens to occur in the coronary artery, cardiac arrest may inevitably happen.

The formation of a plaque is not immediate; it takes time and there are several stages of formation. The first few pose almost no immediate harm. But as plaques grow to even larger masses, they potentially can become unstable and rupture. Much like a pimple, the explosion of the plaque leads to a combination of bleeding and also the release of material contained within.

In studying how plaque ruptures occur, researchers have looked for any possible triggers. Again, much like the pimple on the skin, one has been the presence of microbial life. Although most tend to believe these organisms are limited to our guts, respiratory tract, and skin, investigations have revealed bacteria and viruses are indeed present in the blood and in these lesions.


Some of the species found are known to cause troubles such as chlamydia, wound infections, tooth decay, and gastric cancer. This suggests they may play a role in the rupture of plaques. Recently, an international team of researchers revealed even more evidence to suggest pathogenic bacteria contribute to an increased risk for heart disease and possibly stroke.

Read full, original post: How Microbes Could Give You a Heart Attack

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