Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were eligible for inclusion. The duration of follow-up ranged from 3 to 32 months.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies evaluating the use of any antibiotics were eligible for inclusion. The included studies used azithromycin, roxithromycin, doxycycline, clarithromycin and amoxicillin plus metronidazole. The treatment course was from 3 days to 3 months. The participants in the included studies were receiving antiplatelets (90%), lipid-lowering medication (66%) and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (47%).
Participants included in the review
No explicit details were given regarding the eligibility criteria for participants, although the review question indicated that those with vascular disease were eligible. The participants in the studies included in the review generally had coronary heart disease (CHD), acute coronary syndrome and myocardial infarction. The participants included in the studies were active smokers (25%), suffered from systemic HTN (not defined; 50%), diabetes mellitus (21%) or hyperlipidaemia (60%).
Outcomes assessed in the review
Studies assessing new vascular events (recorded either by clinical or laboratory-assisted means), documented progression of vascular disease, or death were eligible for inclusion. The definition of vascular events varied across the included studies. Studies providing information on safety or tolerability only were excluded.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.