Infections: A Cause of Artery-Clogging Plaques?

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Science  03 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5373, pp. 35-37
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5373.35

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Recent evidence suggests that bacteria and viruses that cause such common ailments as pneumonia, gum disease, and ulcers could be at least contributing factors in the formation of the fatty arterial deposits, or plaques, that lead to heart attacks and many strokes, perhaps by triggering inflammation. So far, the evidence is largely circumstantial, but further research is now on to determine the exact mechanism by which these infections might be related to heart disease and whether antibiotics could serve as a preventive measure or treatment.