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Sandra Fryhofer, MD

Flu Vaccine May Prevent Heart Attack

By Sandra Fryhofer, MDPosted September 27, 2013 10:15am (EDT)
Courtesy, <a href="" target="_blank">Zeathiel</a>

Courtesy, Zeathiel

Flu season is here. I hope you’ve been vaccinated. A new study in the journal Heart suggests another reason to make sure you have been. Flu vaccination may help prevent heart attacks.

In a study of more than 550 patients, half were hospitalized with a heart attack.

The other half – the control group -- were outpatients, but not for heart attack.

Compared to the control group, those hospitalized with heart attacks were twice as likely to have had flu: 12% of those suffering heart attack had flu, compared to 7% of those without a cardiac event.
The heart attack group was half as likely to have been vaccinated against flu.

From these data, researchers concluded flu vaccination is protective against heart attack, and had cut heart attack risk by 45%.

There’s been criticism of this study. Many experts say it really doesn’t prove that getting vaccinated will definitely prevent heart attack. More research is needed.

But with heart disease the leading killer of people in this country, do you really want to roll those dice?

Get vaccinated against flu. Everyone over 6 months old needs flu vaccination every year.

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