Coming down with the flu, bronchitis or pneumonia can dramatically raise the risk of a heart attack — up to 17-fold — in the days and weeks following the infection, researchers said Monday.
The findings confirm earlier research that pointed to an apparent link between respiratory infection and cardiac crises, scientists at the University of Sydney reported.
“A respiratory infection can act as a trigger for a heart attack,” said senior author Professor Geoffrey Tofler.
“The data showed that the increased risk of a heart attack isn’t necessarily just at the beginning of respiratory symptoms, it peaks in the first seven days and gradually reduces but remains elevated for one month.”
The study, published in the Internal Medicine Journal, was based on 578 patients who suffered a heart attack due to a coronary artery blockage.