Patients suffering from coronary artery disease are not covered from heart ailments by taking antibiotics weekly.
Earlier studies have shown that the bacteria Chlamydia pneumoniae exists in the artery plaque of people with coronary heart disease. This bacteria spreads through air and causes pneumonia. On finding them in the affected arteries, one of the practices has been taking weekly course of antibiotics to prevent a heart attack.
The participants of the study were people with a confirmed history of coronary heart disease that had followed from heart attack, angioplasty, or cardiac bypass surgery. The current study, which comes out in the New England Journal of Medicine, had shown that there is no significant benefit arising out of treating C. pneumoniae bacteria with antibiotics in order to avoid a cardiac arrest. This was true for the people in the study who had doses of Azithromycin, irrespective of their ages, gender, smoking habit or the presence of antibody of the bacteria. There were no effects of antibiotics on stroke, or total mortality.
However the researchers feel that it will take more extensive study to find out the role of the C. pneumoniae bacteria in causing or aiding the progress of cardiac conditions.
Reference: New England Journal of Medicine, issue April 2005