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Flu related heart attacks can be prevented with flu vaccines

Posted Oct 08 2009 10:02pm
The medical community has always known that the influenza virus can cause cardiac complications, however, its ability to specifically cause heart attacks has been questionable. In a report due to be published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases some researchers in London set out to find if there was a correlation between the influenza and heart attacks. These scientists essentially did a met-analysis of 39 studies that were published between 1932 and 2008. Their findings provided two interesting results. First, they found that during periods when the influenza virus was prevalent there was an increase in incidence of heart attacks and cardiovascular fatalities. Secondly, they concluded that about 35-50% of the influenza deaths were related to heart issues. Moreover, they found that there were four observational studies which found that the influenza vaccine could be preventive in against influenza related cardiac events (including heart attacks). Also, they observed 2 small randomized control studies in which cardiovascular deaths were reduced by administering the flu vaccine. This article further reinforces the need for everyone to get vaccinated for the influenza virus, especially our elderly and those with cardiovascular risk factors.
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