A new research says that e-coli infection can cause stroke, kidney damage and high blood pressure in the long run.

After 8 years of continuous exposure to e-coli children can develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a kind of kidney damage.  In adults, it can also raise the chance of kidney damage 3.4 fold, heart problems 2.1 fold and hyper tension 1.3 fold.

According to the researchers the Shiga toxins produced by e-coli O15 triggers inflammation which severely damages the inner lining of the blood vessels in the kidney.  This infection becomes more dangerous as the damage cannot be visible immediately in the patient. The study suggests regular medical check-ups to find out any kind of kidney or heart damage and high blood pressure in people infected with e-coli.

This study stresses on the importance of clean drinking water and food as these two are the common causes for e-coli infection. E-coli causes more than 120,000 gastro-enteric diseases, around 2,000 hospitalizations and 60 deaths in the US every year.  In the UK there are around 1,000 cases reported every year.

"Our findings underline the need for following up individual cases of food or water poisoning by E. coli O157 to prevent or reduce silent progressive vascular injury," William F. Clark, MD, professor of nephrology at Victoria Hospital.

This research published in the latest BMJ journal has used the data from Walkerton Health Study, the first study conducted to ascertain the effect of prolonged e-coli infection in human beings. It has studied 1,977 people infected with e-coli after drinking contaminated water from public water supply. The research surveyed the participants annually and checked their health periodically.

Though the scientific community knows the short term effects of e-coli infection, no study has been conducted to investigate the long term effects of e-coli infection in adults.