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The Shot That Prevents Heart Attacks

by huckfunn ( 3 Comments › )
Filed under Headlines, Health Care, Medicine at November 27th, 2012 - 9:00 am

I’m always a little skeptical of any kind of advice that shows up on Yahoo, particularly regarding medical issues. However, I get a flu shot every year and if it gives me an edge against a heart attack, maybe I’ll get 2 (not really). Anyhoo, just passing this along for the benefit of my fellow Blogmocats… for whatever it’s worth. Maybe some of our resident health professionals could weigh in on this.

If you’re tempted to skip your flu shot, consider this: Getting vaccinated cuts risk for a heart attack or stroke by up to 50 percent, according to two studies presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress.

Scientists from TIMU Study Group and Network for Innovation in Clinical Research analyzed published clinical trials involving a total of 3,227 patients, half of whom had been diagnosed with heart disease. Participants, whose average age was 60, were randomly assigned to either receive flu vaccine or a placebo shot, then their health was tracked for 12 months.

Those who got the flu shot were 50 percent less likely to suffer major cardiac events (such as heart attacks or strokes) and 40 percent less likely to die of cardiac causes. Similar trends were found in patients with and without previous heart disease. The findings suggest “that flu vaccine is a heart vaccine,” lead study author Jacob Udell told Fox News.

[...]

A number of studies have shown a link between heart attacks and a prior respiratory infection. A 2010 study of about 78,000 patients age 40 or older found that those who had gotten a flu shot in the previous year were 20 percent less likely to suffer a first heart attack, even when such cardiovascular risks as smoking, high cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes were taken in account.

Scarier still, researchers report that up to 91,000 Americans a year die from heart attacks and strokes triggered by flu. This grim statistic prompted the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology to issue guidelines recommending vaccination for patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). The CDC advises flu shots for everyone over six months of age, but cautions that certain people should check with a medical provider before being immunized.

Sadly, fewer than half of Americans with high-risk conditions like heart disease get the shot, leaving themselves dangerously unprotected against both flu complications and cardiovascular events. In fact, the CDC actually uses heart attack rates to track seasonal flu outbreaks, says Dr. Bale. “They look for areas with a sudden surge in heart attacks and send a team to investigate, because the cause is almost always a spike in flu cases.”

Read the whole article here.  And remember to take your aspirin. There’s Huck’s tip o’ the day.

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3 Responses to “The Shot That Prevents Heart Attacks”
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  1. 1 | November 27, 2012 6:21 pm

    I’m god I got mine his year…courtesy of my new employer!


  2. Alberta Oil Peon
    2 | November 27, 2012 9:18 pm

    @ Macker:
    You got a job, Macker? That’s good news. Any details you can share?


  3. 3 | December 2, 2012 2:58 pm

    heart attacks and strokes triggered by flu

    my sister got sick about 1 year ago (nov-dec 2011) with what sure seemed like the flu followed by a lingering cough. she never got better and by spring she was in the hospital with a-fib.

    i wonder if treatment for the flu or a flu shot would have preventered her troubles.

    i expect the damage to the heart is permanent once done.


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