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Published on : Nov 13, 2018

A recent study of around 5000 patients has revealed that patients with bacterial pneumonia carry a 60% higher risk of stroke, heart attack, or death than patients with viral pneumonia. Researchers state that the fact that pneumonia was a potential risk factor for adverse cardiac episode such as heart attack in the first 90 days of being diagnosed by the condition. What wasn’t known so far was which type of pneumonia – viral or bacterial – put patients at more risk in this aspect.

The study provided a strong reason to believe that bacterial pneumonia is indeed more harmful to the heart as compared to viral pneumonia, allowing care givers a better reason to closely monitor patients and thus bring down their risk of having a major, fatal heart-related event. The results of the study were presented on Sunday in the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions that was held in Chicago.

4,792 pneumonia patients were evaluated in the study and were followed by the research team for 90 days and were tracked for cardiac events or death resulting from them. Nearly 80% of the patients had bacterial pneumonia, and nearly 34% had a major cardiac episode in the 90 days. Of the 21% patients diagnosed with viral pneumonia, 26% encountered a major cardiovascular event within 90 days.

Researchers suggest that the potential cause of this is the fact that bacterial pneumonia leads to higher inflammation of arteries than viral pneumonia. The research encourages care givers to aggressively treat bacterial pneumonia and pay close attention to any symptoms associated with stroke or heart attack. Moreover, if patients are taking medicines for a specific heart-related condition, they should be continued despite the ongoing treatment for bacterial pneumonia.