Recent research has found Helicobacter pylori infection, a gastrointestinal pathogen known to be associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients, also raises the risk of cardiovascular disease in healthy adults.
Researchers at Gangnam Severance Hospital researched 463 healthy adults to discover whether Helicobacter pylori infection was associated with cardiovascular stenosis and atherosclerotic plaques.
|(From left) Gangnam Severance Hospital Professors Lee Byoung-kwon, Kang Shin-ae, Lee Min-young, Kim Jie-hyun|
"Previous studies that suggest H. pylori infection-related inflammation affects CVD were conducted on only patients who already had CVD. This study confirmed the risk of CVD from H. pylori infection in healthy adults who have not yet displayed symptoms," said Professor Kang Shin-ae from the hospital’s endocrinology department, who led the study.
Researchers used cardiac multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) and endoscopic gastric biopsies to examine 463 subjects who got a self-referred health checkup from 2007 to 2014.
Results showed those with an H. pylori infection had a three-fold risk of coronary artery stenosis by more than 50 percent than those without an infection.
Subjects also had more atherosclerotic plaques that build up blood clots and narrows blood vessels through the accumulation of fat deposits. Also, H. pylori-infected subjects had low amounts of HDL cholesterol - which is beneficial to vascular health - while holding high levels of triglyceride, which is associated with fatty liver and visceral obesity.
“In a healthy population, current H. pylori infection was associated with subclinical but significant coronary artery stenosis. The causal relationship between H. pylori infection and subclinical atherosclerosis in a ‘healthy’ population remains to be investigated in the future,” the researchers wrote.
The study was also led by Gangnam Severance Hospital's Professors Lee Min-young, Lee Byoung-kwon and Kim Jie-hyun.
The results were published in the online edition of PLOS ONE.