Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Study: Flu viruses can spark heart attacks
"Heart patients who catch the flu may have more to worry about than just a fever or the sniffles: the virus could also spark a heart attack, new research shows. Amid the global outbreak of swine flu, experts say it's crucial that heart patients get vaccinated against both regular flu and swine flu to avoid medical problems. Doctors said swine flu isn't any more dangerous than regular flu, but it's important for heart patients to get vaccinated because more flu viruses will be circulating this year. British researchers analyzed 39 previous studies of heart patients and found a consistent link between flu and heart attacks. Up to half of all unexpected flu deaths were due to heart disease, the researchers found. The study was published online Tuesday in the British medical journal, The Lancet Infectious Diseases."