Tarzan's Tripes Forever, and Other Feghoots

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Hart to Take (Dear Me)

Category: Rated PG

by Alan Combs


Secondary, perhaps, to puns, Stan Kegel and I share a professional interest in things cardiological. Along this line, we are in an era in medicine when we are finding that certain diseases long plaguing humankind have a bacterial etiology. In other words, the disease actually is the result of a bacterial infection. It has been known for many decades that a streptococcal infection can cause damage to heart valves. More recently, we have learned that certain types of stomach ulcers are caused by colonization with helicobacter. Within the last year, data have been presented indicating that atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) may be associated with chlamydia infections. Chlamydia, along with herpes and other even less benign conditions, is categorized as one of the sexually transmitted diseases (STD). The end result of atherosclerosis is frequently a clot within an artery of the heart, itself, a heart attack, if you will.

It seems natural to draw the conclusion that this is neither the first, nor will it be the last time an STD has been associated with a broken heart.

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