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Asthma Ups Risk of Heart Attack: Studies

Update Date: Nov 17, 2014 05:56 PM EST

Individuals with asthma are at higher risk of heart attack, new studies claim.

The Economic Times reported findings from a study conducted by University of Wisconsin's School of Medicine and Public Health involving 6,792 participants. Researchers found a 60 percent increased risk of heart attack in the participants, compared to non-asthma people.

"Our study suggests that physicians should do all they can to control every other modifiable cardiovascular risk factor in patients with asthma," said Dr. Matthew C Tattersall, assistant professor of medicine at the school, in a press release.

"Although we know that asthma and heart disease are both associated with increased levels of inflammation in the body, we do not yet know if the increased risk of heart disease is caused by the persistent asthma, the drugs used to treat persistent asthma, or if they simply share a common inflammatory cause."

A similar study from Mayo Clinic showed a two-fold higher risk of heart attack in patients with active asthma (during an attack or while using medication).

The study involved 543 patients who were treated for heart attacks between 2002 and 2006 at health care facilities in Rochester, Minnesota. When compared to same number of people who did not have heart attack, researchers found that people in the heart-attack group with active asthma were at 70 percent higher risk of heart attacks. However those with inactive asthma did not have an increased risk.

"Lifesaving medications for acute heart attack and asthma attack are different; treatment for one potentially can make conditions worse or life-threatening for the other. Asthma patients need to be aware of this potential issue and should have a care plan for symptoms for asthma or heart attack," said Young Juhn, the study's senior author, according to a press release. He recommended therapeutic control and preventive control of asthmas over asthma medications.

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