Infection with a bacterium that causes gum disease and bad breath can increase the risk of heart disease, scientists from the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne in Switzerland have found . The work was published in the journal Genetics and Genomics.
The study involved 3.5 thousand people, of whom 6% suffered a heart attack or other dangerous cardiovascular disease during the 12-year follow-up period. The team tested participants’ blood samples for antibodies against 15 viruses, six bacteria and one parasite.
The authors found that antibodies against the bacterium Fusobacterium nucleatum were associated with a modest increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease.
F. nucleatum may contribute to an increased risk due to systemic inflammation in the body, as well as due to the colonization of the walls of the arteries, resulting in the formation of plaque on them. Our study adds to growing evidence that inflammation caused by infections may contribute to the development of coronary heart disease and increase the risk of a heart attack, ”the scientists explained.