A Heart Disease Risk You Never Imagined Could Happen to You

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

This also means that after a person has recovered from pneumonia, both doctors and patients should develop some type of care plan, as this study shows that these patients are much more likely to develop heart disease in the following weeks or months, or perhaps even years, after this infection, as this study shows that even patients with no previous history of heart disease are at increased risk after a bout with pneumonia.

This JAMA study was published through the University of Pittsburg with Dr. Sachin Yende, who is the director of the Clinical Epidemiology program at the CRISMA Center. The paper is entitled, Association Between Hospitalization for Pneumonia and Subsequent Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. This paper was funded by the National Heart, lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, and the Stroke, National Institute on Aging, as well as the Ottawa Hospital Foundation, the Ottawa Hospital’s Department of Medicine, and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

Scientists believe that having pneumonia causes inflammation in the body that spreads to the blood vessels and the heart muscle. Pneumonia in an infection, in one or both lungs, caused by many different types of germs such as viruses, bacteria, even fungi. It can have more than 30 different causes. About 1/3rd of all cases of pneumonia are caused by respiratory viruses, like the flu virus. It can be caused by other viruses, such as herpes simplex, SARS, and the common rhinovirus (the common cold).

However, bacterial pneumonia can occur after you have had a cold or the flu, or it can start all by itself. Those at greatest risk are those who are in a weakened state, such as those recovering from surgery, those with respiratory diseases, and especially those with weakened immune systems. The bacterium that causes pneumonia lives in healthy throat tissue but can multiply and work its way into the lungs and eventually invade the entire body.

When these germs reach your lungs, if your immune system cannot fight them off, the air sacs in your lungs will become inflamed and fill with fluid. This is the reason persons with pneumonia cannot breathe well and have a heavy, wet cough, fever, and chills. Because of the fluid buildup in the lungs, oxygen might have trouble reaching your bloodstream.

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