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Those who catch E coli more likely to need private medical cover?

Published on 23/11/2010
People who contract a serious strain of Escherichia coli (E coli) may benefit from private medical cover as new research suggests they are more likely to develop health problems in the future.

Canadian scientists have discovered that the infection E coli O157:H7 - which can cause severe gastroenteritis - may be associated with long-term health problems, including high blood pressure, kidney problems and heart disease.

They analysed data on 1,977 adults following an outbreak of gastroenteritis in May 2000.

Participants underwent annual physical examinations and laboratory assessment for the next eight years to assess their health.

It was found that the 54 per cent of the participants that had experienced acute gastroenteritis were 1.3 times more likely to develop hypertension than those who were only mildly ill or not ill at all during the outbreak.

Furthermore, they were 3.4 times more likely to develop poor kidney function and 2.1 times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, the study authors said: "Our findings underline the need for following up individual cases of food or water poisoning by E coli O157:H7 to prevent or reduce silent progressive vascular injury."

Gastroenteritis affects all age groups, but is particularly common in the under-fives, with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea and fever.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010


Categories:  Medical
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