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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2000 December;48(12):467-74


language: Italian

Ischemic cardiovascular disease: correlation with Helicobacter pylori infection

Pellicano R., Oliaro E., Mangiardi L., Orzan F., Bergerone S., Gandolfo N., Aruta E., Rizzetto M., Ponzetto A.


Coronary heart disease is the primary cause of mortality in western countries. The well-established (''classical'') risk factors cannot fully explain epidemiological variations of this disease. From several years infections have been linked to ischemic vascular events and recent studies pointed to the role of Helico-bacter pylori (H. pylori), a spirale Gram negative bacterium, that chronically infects human stomach and is involved in the pathogenesis of gastritis and peptic ulceration. Systematic reviews of studies have suggested the existence of a possible weakly positive association between this bacterium and coronary heart disease, but this could be due to confounding bias and influenced by the degree of investigations heterogeneity. Experiments from animal studies demonstrated that H. pylori infection in mice induces the formation of platelet aggregates and in contrast to Chlamydia pneumoniae it has not been found in the plaque: therefore, the role of H. pylori, could be even more important in the acute phase of myocardial infarction. There is the need for extensive prospectic studies to evaluate the incidence of these diseases in relation to the presence of H. pylori infection. Appropriately randomized studies employing an antibiotic treatment for patients affected by ischemic vascular disease will answer the question of wheather H. pylori has a causal role in the pathogenesis of acute myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke.

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