When it comes to managing bronchitis, the first line of defence is always the heart, but it’s not just the lungs that need to be monitored closely.
For some, the risk of a serious illness increases even further.
Bronchitis sufferers are advised to avoid certain activities for a month to help prevent a potentially fatal complication.
A new study has found that even people who are healthy are at increased risk of getting the potentially fatal disease, such as heart attacks, strokes, or other conditions.
It’s called a “risk factor score” and it’s calculated by taking into account a person’s risk of developing an infection, or of having a heart attack, stroke, or heart failure.
The researchers found that people with a “low risk” score had a 50 per cent increased risk to developing heart attacks and strokes.
They also found that those with a high risk score had an increased risk, up to 150 per cent.
Dr Matthew Brown, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Sydney, said the findings suggested that “risk factors” are not the only factors that contribute to the development of the disease.
“What this means is that we should be aware of risk factors, like high levels of inflammation in the heart or lack of exercise,” Dr Brown told ABC Radio Canberra.
He said it is important that people who have heart problems or other cardiovascular problems are also monitored closely, because they are at higher risk of dying from the disease than the general population.
This is because the risk factors themselves affect a person and their risk of death, he said.
Some common risk factors for bronchiolitis include having an older age, a family history of the condition, and having a history of cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure.
If you have a heart condition, it is strongly recommended that you get tested to check for heart problems, such to check if there is a heart problem.
When you’re at risk of heart problems such as high blood pressures or stroke, you should also be careful with exercise, Dr Brown said.
“If you are exercising regularly, you are more likely to have a normal heart rhythm,” he said, adding that people can also reduce their risk by eating a healthy diet.
While heart attacks are a very serious illness, Dr Matthew Brown said there is “an opportunity for the public to make informed decisions”.
“We know from past experience that there is much more work to be done,” he told ABC Canberra.
“We’re going to need to change the way we are thinking about what we eat and exercise, and we’re going on to look at the possibility of new treatments.”
Dr Brown said that if you think you may have bronchioidosis, you can take heart tests to check your blood pressure and heart rate to ensure that your risk of the illness is low.
People who have a “high risk” may have a high blood-pressure and/or heart-rate, and need to avoid physical activity for a few weeks to prevent further heart problems.
However, if your risk for bronchiectasis is higher than the “normal” range, you may need to start taking blood pressure medication.
For people with an increased “risk” score, a blood test should be taken every 6 months, to check whether your risk is increasing.
There are also a number of other health factors that can affect the risk for developing the disease, including: a family member or friend who has been diagnosed with the disease; being in a car accident; having a family doctor, nurse, or medical specialist who treats you; having certain medications in your system, such a aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen; and being pregnant or breastfeeding.
Although bronchial infections are usually a short-term problem, if a bronchiloplastoma is found in the lungs, it can be life-threatening, and it can cause death.
But Dr Brown advised people with “low” risk score to be cautious, as there is no treatment for the disease and the symptoms may go away, but the symptoms are not likely to go away if treated.