Recent research, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, suggests that people suffering from persistent asthma may be at higher risk of heart attack or stroke due to excess plaque buildup in the arteries leading to the brain, which are called carotid arteries.
For their study, the research team analyzed data from nearly 7,000 adults enrolled in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). The study began in 2000 and is still following participants today in six locations across the United States. At the baseline, all participants were free from cardiovascular disease.
The analysis has shown that plaque in carotid arteries was present in 67% of participants with persistent asthma and 49.5% of those with intermittent asthma. Those with persistent asthma had an average of two carotid plaques and those with intermittent asthma had about one carotid plaque. Carotid plaque was present in 50.5% of the participants without asthma, with an average of about one carotid plaque.