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Antibiotics help heart patients

chronic inflammatory conditions such as Crohn's disease, as well as having a different pattern of antibacterial activity to the other antibiotics. Omeprazole has been shown to reduce the activity of macrophages the key white blood cells involved in coronary heart disease, Mendall explains.

Twelve weeks after beginning the study, 17.2 percent of the patients receiving antibiotics were rehospitalized with unstable angina or a nonfatal heart attack, or suffered a fatal heart attack, compared to 27.2 percent of the placebo group. At the end of one year, the rates were 25.8 percent for those who received antibiotics and 38.9 percent for those who received placebo.

Blood concentrations of the three inflammation markers proved a mixed lot. Amoxycillin takers who had been hospitalized with unstable angina had a significant decline in C-reactive protein over the year-long follow-up compared to the placebo group. However, there was only a trend in those who had suffered a heart attack.

Fibrinogen levels fell in both antibiotic groups compared to patients on placebo, but the change was not statistically significant. No change was found in the levels of white cells.

"Our study design does not allow us to draw conclusions about the beneficial effects in all patients," Mendall says. "Further studies are needed to investigate the reasons for the long-term effects of a short course of antibiotic treatment."


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Contact: Carole Bullock
carole.bullock@heart.org
214-706-1279
American Heart Association
19-Aug-2002


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