Do multiple chronic infections increase the risk of stroke?: The infectious burden concept

  • Grau A
  • Brandt T
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Comments on an article by M.S.V. Elkind et al. (see record 2010-01061-004). Recent years have seen a large number of studies that investigated the association between various microbial agents causing chronic infectious diseases and stroke or myocardial infarction. A large, number of microbial agents could be identified in atherosclerotic plaques and experimental studies found several lines of evidence that support the hypothesis of chronic infectious diseases contributing to atherogenesis in addition to the well-known risk factors. For all of these microbial agents or chronic infections, only associations with stroke or myocardial infarction were shown and a causal role is not proven in the absence of interventional studies. With more and more players on stage, the hypothesis came up that the number of chronic or persistent infections to which the host has been exposed to is a determinant of vascular risk rather than having 1 or 2 big actors that dominate the game. Herein, we talk about chronic infections; however, convincing studies also link stroke,to acute infection. In children, this association was already observed by famous neurologists. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)

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  • Armin J. Grau

  • Tobias Brandt

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