Lyme Carditis Can Cause Sudden Cardiac Death

[ CanLyme note: This report underlines what patients and their concerned physicians have known for years and have tried to report.  We disagree with this quote in the article, “Health care providers should consider as a cause of cardiac symptoms in patients who live in or have visited a high-incidence Lyme disease region, especially during summer and fall months and regardless of whether the patient reports erythema migrans. Lyme disease does not only occur in areas of high-incidence.  Lyme borreliosis is spread randomly by migratory birds transplanting infected ticks anywhere in North America.  This poor logic has caused an unknown number of deaths throughout North America, and has certainly caused unnecessary disability. The simplest and most accurate way of looking at this is, physicians must have Lyme borreliosis as high on the list for this set of symptoms as any other cause – anywhere that robins fly. To narrow this once again to known endemic areas will only continue to have patients outside of these areas neglected as they have been for decades for not just Lyme carditis but the many multi-systemic symptoms this disease will cause. ]

Lyme carditis associated with Borrelia burgdorferi infection was uncommon but was linked to two previously unsuspected cases of sudden cardiac death, Joseph D. Forrester, MD, from the Epidemic Intelligence Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Disease, CDC, Atlanta, Georgia, and colleagues report in the October 31 issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

“Health care providers should consider Lyme disease as a cause of cardiac symptoms in patients who live in or have visited a high-incidence Lyme disease region, especially during summer and fall months and regardless of whether the patient reports erythema migrans. Additionally, health care providers should investigate the potential for cardiac involvement in patients who have other signs or symptoms of Lyme disease, particularly if they report chest pain, palpitations, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, or syncope,” the authors write.

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