Study: Respiratory Infections Multiply Heart Attack Risk

Respiratory Infections Multiply Heart Attack RiskScienceDirect recently reported on a new study from the University of Sydney that confirmed the link between respiratory infection and a heart attack by analysing the medical records of 578 consecutive patients. The cardiology reports that medical transcription service companies provide ensure accurate information about patients for medical records and it is these reports that form the basis of such advanced studies.

The study which was published in Internal Medicine Journal was based on the clinical symptoms reported by patients with heart attack due to coronary artery blockage and who also experienced symptoms of respiratory infection. The researchers confirmed what prior studies had suggested – that a respiratory infection can act as a trigger for a heart attack. More precisely, the team found that the risk of having a heart attack is 17 times higher in the week following a respiratory infection.

In the first stage of the analysis, patients were asked about activities and flu-like symptoms before their heart attack. They were considered as facing higher risks of heart attack if they reported sore throat, cough, fever, sinus pain, flu-like symptoms or if they had a diagnosis of pneumonia or bronchitis.

In the next phase, the researchers studied those with symptoms only related to the upper respiratory tract such as common cold, pharyngitis, rhinitis and sinusitis.

The key findings of the study are as follows:

  • 17% of patients had symptoms of respiratory infection within 7 days of the heart attack, and 21 percent, within 31 days
  • The risk of heart attack was 13 times higher even for those with mild upper respiratory tract infection symptoms

According to the study, the reason why respiratory infection causes heart attacks include the increased tendency of blood clotting, inflammation and toxins to damages blood vessels and cause changes in blood flow.

As the incidence of heart attacks in Australia is highest in winter, the study has special significance for people living in that country. Based on their findings, the medical experts recommend that people take steps to minimize their exposure to infection, including flu and pneumonia and to not ignore symptoms that could trigger a heart attack.

Putting cardiology reports together that provide a clear view of patient symptoms and other matters takes a lot of time and effort and many medical offices are now outsourcing medical transcription to ensure accuracy in the medical record. Cardiology transcription is a process that requires considerable knowledge of complex heart conditions, tests, procedures, and related terminology. Established cardiology medical transcription service companies have expert clinical documentation specialists who can provide accurate EMR-integrated documentation solutions for cardiologists. They can transcribe vascular reports from physician dictation precisely, in the required format, and in time to meet their needs. Importantly, it these reports form the basis for advanced research focused on better understanding medical conditions and improving the quality of care.

Julie Clements

About Julie Clements

Joined the MOS team in March of 2008. Julie Clements has background in the healthcare staffing arena; as well as 6 years as Director of Sales and Marketing at a 4 star resort. Julie was instrumental in the creation of the medical record review division (and new web site); and has especially grown this division along with data conversion of all kinds.