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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2000 July-August;91(7-8):161-8

language: Italian

Infections and ischemic cardiovascular diseases: the case of Helicobacter pylori

Pellicano R., E. Oliaro, Rizzetto M., Ponzetto A.


Cardiac and cerebrovascular diseases are an important cause of mortality in industrialized countries. ''Classical'' risk factors cannot fully explain epidemiological variations of these diseases. From several years infections have been linked to ischemic vascular events and recent publications pointed to the role of Helicobacter pylori, a Gram negative bacterium, involved in the pathogenesis of gastritis and peptic ulcer. Results on the association between this bacterium and acute myocardial infarction or stroke are controversial, due to the degree of studies heterogeneity. There is the need for extensive prospectic studies to evaluate the incidence of these diseases in relation to the presence of Helicobacter pylori infection. Interventional randomized studies employing an antibiotic treatment for patients affected by ischemic vascular diseases will rapidly answer the question of wheather Helicobacter pylori has a causal role in the pathogenesis of acute myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke.

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