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Circulation. 2001 Jul 3;104(1):25-31.

Impact of viral and bacterial infectious burden on long-term prognosis in patients with coronary artery disease.

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Department of Medicine II , Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz,



The number of infectious pathogens to which an individual has been exposed (infectious burden) may correlate with coronary artery disease (CAD). In a prospective study, we evaluated the effect of 8 pathogens and the aggregate pathogen burden on the risk for future fatal cardiac events among patients with angiographically documented CAD. Methods and Results-In 1018 patients, IgG or IgA antibodies to herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, Haemophilus influenzae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Helicobacter pylori were determined. Moreover, highly sensitive C-reactive protein was measured. Follow-up information on cardiovascular events was obtained (mean 3.1 years, maximum 4.3 years). Seropositivities to Epstein-Barr virus (P=0.001), H pylori (P=0.002), and herpes simplex virus type 2 (P=0.045) were independently associated with the future risk of cardiovascular death. An increasing number for pathogen burden was significantly predictive of the long-term prognosis (P<0.0001). Infectious burden divided into 0 to 3, 4 or 5, and 6 to 8 seropositivities was associated with an increasing mortality of 3.7%, 7.2%, and 12.6%, respectively. Patients seropositive to >5 pathogens compared with those seropositive to <4 pathogens had a 5.1 (1.4 to 18.3) higher risk of future cardiac death. This result was mainly driven by the pathogen burden of seropositivities to Herpesviridae (P<0.0001). The prognostic impact of total or viral pathogen burden was independent of the C-reactive protein level.


These results support the hypothesis that the number of infectious pathogens to which an individual has been exposed independently contributes to the long-term prognosis in patients with documented CAD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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