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Long term vascular complications of Coxiella burnetii infection

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 01 January 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:58

Cardiovascular risk factors cannot be ignored

  1. Martin Wildman, research fellow in respiratory medicine (,
  2. Jon G Ayres, professor of respiratory medicine
  1. Heartlands Research Institute, Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham B9 5SS
  2. University Hospital of Geneva, Rue Micheli du Crest 24, 1211 Geneva 14, Switzerland

    EDITOR—In their paper on the potential for infection by Coxiella burnetii to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease Lovey et al suggest that the established mode of transmission of C burnetii is unlikely to be associated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease. They also say that the unavailability of baseline data on such risk is unlikely to influence their findings.1 However, in an outbreak of Q fever pneumonia affecting 147 patients in the United Kingdom in 1989 (not referred to by Lovey et al) we found that of 110 patients in whom smoking history was available for the time of the infection, 60 were current smokers, 28 were ex-smokers, and only 22 had never smoked. 2 3

    A subsequent case-control study in this cohort confirmed smoking to …

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