Antibiotic slows atherosclerosis in people with Chlamydia pneumonia antibodies

reactive protein (CRP) levels were also established for each patient. CRP is a marker of general systemic inflammation, including irritation of vascular walls.

In the baseline period, IMT progressed in Cp patients at a rate of 0.12 millimeters a year (mm/year) compared to 0.07 mm/year in patients without the antibody, regardless of other cardiovascular risk factors. After two years of antibiotic treatment, progression was significantly reduced Cp positive patients compared to Cp-positive patients who did not receive roxithromycin. The progression was 0.07 mm/year in patients taking antibiotics versus 0.11 mm/year in untreated patients.

Treatment significantly decreased CRP levels in treated Cp-positive patients but not in the placebo Cp-positive group, an effect that remained unchanged even after adjusting for smoking, age, diabetes, blood pressure or cholesterol levels.

However, researchers observed no significant difference between the groups in subsequent cardiovascular events at follow-up, and saw no change in IMT in Cp-negative patients who received antibiotic therapy.

Roxithromycin therapy was associated with an average reduction of IMT progression of 0.04 mm a year, which equals about a 1.5 percent to 2 percent reduction in heart risk, Sander says. This small risk reduction requires clinical trials with long-term follow-up to demonstrate the probable benefits of antibiotic therapy in patients testing positive for Cp antibodies, he says.


Contact: Carole Bullock
American Heart Association

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