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Antibiotics raise risk of heart disease and stroke

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People taking the drugs for two months or longer were 32 per cent more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, say researchers who reviewed a study involving around 36,500 women.

This means the drugs will cause six more women out of every 1,000 to develop heart disease who otherwise wouldn’t have done so.

The over-60s are at the greatest risk, but it also affects middle-aged women – aged from 40 to 59 – who were 28 per cent more likely to suffer heart disease after long-term use of the drug. Only younger women weren’t affected.

This suggests there’s a cumulative effect over the years, the researchers say, with women taking the drugs long-term to treat respiratory problems, urinary tract infections and dental problems.

Antibiotics interfere with the gut’s microbiome, killing off the good probiotic bacteria, and this raises the risk of viral and bacterial infection that can cause disease, researchers from Tulane University in New Orleans say.

(Source: European Heart Journal, 2019; doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehz231)

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Article Topics: bacteria, blood, disease, infection
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