Infection causes long-term inflammation in blood vessels.
People who suffer common infections have an increased risk of having a stroke or heart attack, a new study has found.
For the study, researchers tracked 1.2million patients suffering from pneumonia or urinary tract infection. They found these patients were at a risk of suffering a heart attack by 40% within eight years and 150% likely to have a stroke, the Daily Mail reported.
The research team, from Aston Medical School in Birmingham and the University of Cambridge, believe a common infection is more dangerous on heart health than obesity, which increases risk of these cardiovascular conditions by 25%.
More alarming, researchers found patients who suffered infections also have a higher risk of dying if they have a stroke or heart attack.
The reason infection has such a deeper impact is because it causes inflammation in blood vessels long-term. The team recommends patients who suffer from chest infection or bladder issues should be prescribed statins or heart pills.
"Our figures suggest that those who are admitted to hospital with a respiratory or urinary tract infection are 40% more likely to suffer a subsequent heart attack, and 2.5 times more likely to have a stroke, than patients who have had no such infection – and are considerably less likely to survive from these conditions," Cardiologist Dr Rahul Potluri, of Aston University, told the Daily Mail.
The study will be presented at the American College of Cardiology conference in Orlando.