Years after patients catch the specific E. coli bacteria type O157, they might still be exposed to a greater risk of high blood pressure and other heart conditions as a consequence.
The study has been published in the British Medical Journal and examined 2,000 participants who were affected by an E. coli O157 epidemic. Their risk of developing heart diseases duplicated compared to healthy individuals.
Although many citizens in the UK yearly catch E. coli bacteria, the O157 strain is considered as the most aggressive that causes severe sickness among its recipients.
Among the effects of the bacteria infection of the research participants were increased risks of kidney failure, higher exposures to heart conditions and higher risks to develop unhealthy blood pressure.
In the past few years, the number of E. coli O157 infections in the UK ranged from circa 800 to 1,200 every year and remained constant. The bacteria can be caught while eating unhygienic food products or being around animals.
Microbiologist at the Food Standards Agency, Bob Martin, underlines that prevention measures are very important. "You can reduce the risk by keeping things clean in the domestic setting, and cooking food thoroughly, as this will kill off bugs, particularly things like sausages and burgers which are made from minced meat".
Citizens should further carefully refrigerate their nutrition products and stay away from consuming raw meat.