Chronic chlamydia infection and high CHD risk
In the Zutphen Elderly Study a high level of antibodies to C. pneumonia was associated with an almost 3-fold higher risk of first CHD events after 5 years of follow-up. This association was independent of potential confounders. In contrast, antibodies of cytomegalovirus and Helicobactor pylori were not associated with excess CHD risk.
Chronic infections with C. pneumonia induce high levels of antibodies in the elderly. Antibodies to oxidized LDL are implicated in the genesis of atherosclerosis. Chronic chlamydial infection may increase the production of antibodies to oxidized LDL and enhance this process. A portion of excess risk for CHD may be an effect of C. pneumonia infection on the genesis of atherosclerosis.