McGuire_Kristin Writing Assignment 2

McGuire_Kristin Writing Assignment 2 - Kristin McGuire...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Kristin McGuire Biology of Public Health 10/10/11 Environmental Risk Factors for Atherosclerosis Atherosclerosis and its complications cause up to half of all adult deaths in the United States (Belland, 2004). This debilitating disease is defined as the narrowing of arteries characterized by deposition of lipid, inflammation, and calcification (Essentials of Public Health Biology, 436). Fatty materials are deposited and eventually build up in an artery’s inner lining. Common risk factors include cigarette smoking, hypertension, diabetes, being overweight, lack of physical activity, hypercholesterolemia, and genetic predisposition (Essentials of Public Health Biology, 425). However, the disease is very complicated and multifactorial; about 40% of atherosclerosis cases do not have any well-defined risk factors associated with them (Belland, 2004). In some cases, environmental factors and infectious diseases have been proven to contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. Two of these factors include Chlamydia pneumoniae and ambient air pollution. One environmental factor that has recently been linked with atherosclerosis is bacterial infection. Chlamydia pneumoniae , an intracellular pathogen, is associated with atherosclerosis because of its presence in atherosclerotic lesions. This bacterium is the leading cause of human respiratory tract infections in the world (Mertens, 2010). This bacterium is a major cause of pharyngitis, bronchitis, and atypical pneumonia. It has also been associated with meningoencephalitis, arthritis, myocarditis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and even lung cancer. Chlamydia pneumoniae is classified as an obligate intracellular pathogen because it is necessary for it to infect another cell in order to reproduce. The bacterium is typically spread through humans by respiratory droplets or by direct contact. C. pneumoniae can infect a huge assortment of host cell types, including “lung epithelium, resident macrophages (alveolar and monocyte derived), circulating monocytes, arterial smooth muscle cells and vascular endothelium” (Belland, 2004). Once C. Pneumoniae enters a cell, it survives as a parasite. The host cell
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 5

McGuire_Kristin Writing Assignment 2 - Kristin McGuire...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online