Objectives: To evaluate the risk for hypertension, renal impairment, and cardiovascular disease within eight years of gastroenteritis from drinking water contaminated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Campylobacter. Design: A prospective cohort study. Setting: Walkerton, Ontario, Canada. Participants: 1977 adult participants in the Walkerton Health Study recruited between 2002 and 2005 after an outbreak of gastroenteritis in May 2000, when a municipal water system was contaminated, with no pre-outbreak history of outcome measures. Outcome measures: Information was collected annually via survey, physical examination, and laboratory assessment. Primary measures were acute gastroenteritis (diarrhoeal illness lasting >3 days, bloody diarrhoea, or >3 loose stools/day), hypertension (blood pressure ≥140/ 90 mm Hg), and renal impairment (microalbuminuria or estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 ml/min/1.73 m2). Self reported physician diagnosis of cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction, stroke, or congestive heart failure) was a secondary outcome. Results: Acute gastroenteritis at the time of the outbreak was reported by 1067 (54%) of participants. Incident hypertension was detected in 697 (35%) (294 (32%) of group not exposed to acute gastroenteritis v 403 (38%) of exposed group). While 572 (29%) had at least one indicator of renal impairment (266 (29%) of unexposed v 306 (29%) of exposed), only 30 (1.5%) had both (8 (0.9%) of unexposed v 22 (2.1%) of exposed). Cardiovascular disease was reported by 33/1749 (1.9%). The adjusted hazard ratios for hypertension and cardiovascular disease after acute gastroenteritis were 1.33 (95% confidence interval 1.14 to 1.54) and 2.13 (1.03 to 4.43) respectively. The adjusted hazard ratio for the presence of either indicator of renal impairment was 1.15 (0.97 to 1.35) and was 3.41 (1.51 to 7.71) for the presence of both. Conclusion: Gastroenteritis from drinking water contaminated with E coli O157:H7 and Campylobacter was associated with an increased risk for hypertension, renal impairment, and self reported cardiovascular disease. Annual monitoring of blood pressure and periodic monitoring of renal function may be warranted for individuals who experience E coli O157:H7 gastroenteritis.
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