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Editorial
February 3, 1999

Antibiotics for Prevention of Myocardial Infarction? Not Yet!

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

JAMA. 1999;281(5):461-462. doi:10.1001/jama.281.5.461

Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and, by 2020, is projected to be the leading cause of disability in the world.1 Many important and preventable risk factors for atherosclerotic disease have been identified, including hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, cigarette smoking, diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity. Nevertheless, additional environmental factors probably contribute to the initiation, propagation, and rupture of atherosclerotic plaques, and, ultimately, to clinical atherothrombotic events. The possibility that infection may be one of these factors was hypothesized more than 100 years ago2—a hypothesis that has attracted renewed scientific interest recently.

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