A recently published study has revealed that long-term antibiotic use will increase the risk of heart attack and stroke in older women. As per the research report, taking antibiotics for two months or more will literally increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases among women aged above 60.
Interestingly, researchers noted that prolonged usage of antibiotics will not impact the cardiovascular health of younger adults aged between 20 and 39.
In the study report, researchers suggested that antibiotics are responsible for altering the balance of the microenvironment in the gut, and it might be elevating the risks of cardiovascular disorders.
"Antibiotic use is the most critical factor in altering the balance of microorganisms in the gut. Previous studies have shown a link between alterations in the microbiota environment of the gut and inflammation and narrowing of the blood vessels, stroke, and heart disease," said Lu Qi, director of the Tulane University in the US, in a recent statement.
During the study, researchers analyzed the health record of 36,429 women who took part in the Nurses' Health Study, which has been running in the USA since 1976. The current study used the data of women between 2004 to 2012.
Following up the health records of these women revealed that older women who took antibiotics for more than two months were 32 percent more likely to develop cardiovascular disorders when compared to women who did not use antibiotics.
It should be also noted that women who took antibiotics in their middle age (40-59) for more than two months also developed chances of developing cardiovascular diseases by 28 percent when compared to other women who did not use antibiotics.
"By investigating the duration of antibiotic use in various stages of adulthood we have found an association between long-term use in middle age and later life and an increased risk of stroke and heart disease during the following eight years," said Yoriko Heianza, a researcher at the Tulane University.
However, Qi made it clear that this is just an observational study, and it is not wise to finalize that antibiotics are responsible for heart attacks.
"This is an observational study and so it cannot show that antibiotics cause heart disease and stroke, only that there is a link between them. It's possible that women who reported more antibiotic use might be sicker in other ways that we were unable to measure, or there may be other factors that could affect the results that we have not been able to take account of," clarified Qi.
A few weeks back, another study report published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology had suggested that edible marijuana is capable of elevating the risk of cardiovascular disorders among older people. This research report surfaced at a crucial time when the concept of marijuana legalization is sweeping all across the United States.