Bacterial Pneumonia Poses High Risk for Heart Complications

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Research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018 in Chicago suggests that bacterial pneumonia is more harmful to the heart than viral pneumonia. World Pneumonia Day (November 12) was established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2009 to raise awareness about this serious lung infection.

For this study, which has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, researchers at the Intermountain Heart institute in Utah examined data collected from 2014 to 2017 involving 4,800 people hospitalized with pneumonia. During a 90-day follow-up period, 34 percent of study participants diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia experienced a major heart complication — heart attack, stroke, heart failure, or death — compared to 26 percent of study participants with viral pneumonia.

According to the senior author of the study, Joseph Brent Muhlestein, MD, the reason for this is probably that bacterial pneumonia causes more inflammation in the arteries than viral pneumonia. Viruses enter cells and cause damage, while bacteria remain outside the cells and release toxins into the bloodstream. Bacterial pneumonia also typically causes higher fevers, higher levels of inflammation markers in the blood, and higher white blood cell counts than viral pneumonia, which can all increase heart damage risk.

Sourced from: Live Science