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E coli poisoning linked to progressive vascular injury

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Contracting gastroenteritis from water contaminated with E coli increases risk of developing other conditions, according to Canadian researchers in the BMJ online.

They studied 1,977 patients exposed to E coli during a water contamination incident, following them up for eight years.

Compared with patients who were not ill, or only mildly ill, during the outbreak, those who experienced acute gastroenteritis were 1.3 times more likely to develop hypertension, 3.4 times more likely to develop renal impairment, and 2.1 times more likely to have a cardiovascular event.

The 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.”

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