Is atherosclerosis an infectious disease?
Steven D. Mawhorter, MD
Department of Infectious Disease, Cleveland Clinic
Michael A. Lauer, MD
Department of Cardiology, Borgess Medical Center Research Institute, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Address: Steven D. Mawhorter, MD, Department of Infectious Disease, S32, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195; firstname.lastname@example.org
This paper discusses treatment that is “off label,” ie, not FDA-approved.
Atherosclerotic coronary artery disease is multifactorial, but several lines of evidence implicate infection as a potential contributing factor. Chlamydia pneumoniae has the most compelling data, with Helicobacter pylori and cytomegalovirus also implicated. Clinical trials of antibiotics to decrease coronary events are underway. Until the results are available, however, we advise against prescribing antibiotics for this purpose.