We know that getting a flu shot early each year dramatically reduces risk of infection. But given the flu’s impact on the immune and other systems, what might the flow-on effects of vaccination be for other, more serious conditions?
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark recently completed a study to determine the effect of flu vaccination on cardiovascular outcomes for people with hypertension. They analysed data on over 600,000 people with the condition across nine flu seasons, comparing those who had and had not been vaccinated.
The results, which have recently been presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2019, associated vaccination with an 18% lower risk of death from any cause, 16% less from a cardiovascular event and 10% less from heart attack and stroke. The results accounted for age, other conditions, medications and socioeconomic status.
Looking to explain this link, lead researcher Daniel Modin stated ‘Heart attacks and strokes are caused by the rupture of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries leading to the heart or the brain. After a rupture, a blood clot forms and cuts off the blood supply.’
Regardless if the cause, Modin says the takeaway for medical professionals is clear. ‘Given these results, it is my belief that all patients with high blood pressure should have an annual flu vaccination.’
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Source: Medical News Today