TORONTO, B.C. – A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that getting a flu shot can be good for a person’s heart, too.
Dr. Jacob Udell of the University of Toronto and his colleagues found that patients who had suffered recent heart attacks and who were randomly assigned to get flu shots had a 55 lower risk of having another major heart event, according to the AMA Journal article.
"In our primary results/findings, of the 6,700 patients, half got the flu vaccine and half the placebo or standard care, only a third of patients had a history of heart disease. But among those who got the flu shot, we saw a 36 percent lower risk of a major cardiac event! Not too shabby,” Udell said.
The study concluded that the reason was either something specific to the flu itself causing respiratory infections, the immune response of those who have ensuing heart attacks, stroke or congestive failure, or a combination. People who get the flu are at higher risk for heart problems.
Researchers analyzed six studies on the heart health of more than 6,700 men and women, average age 67. Half got a flu vaccine; half got a placebo shot or nothing. About a third had heart disease and the rest had risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking.