Tuesday, September 21, 2010
U.K. research suggests flu vaccine lowers risk of heart attack
"Canadians with serious heart conditions should line up for the flu vaccine as soon as they can this year - getting the shot, and getting it earlier, could significantly lower the risk of heart attack, a new British study suggests. Previous research has shown that heart attacks increase dramatically in winter when patients often develop pneumonia or the flu, and scientists say there may be a link between respiratory infections and heart attacks. A study of more than 78,700 patients, who were at least 40 years old and living in England and Wales, suggest that flu vaccinations are connected to a reduced risk of heart attack. And the earlier people got the shot, the better, although even those whose vaccination was delayed saw a benefit. Receiving a flu shot between September and mid-November was associated with a 21 per cent decrease in the rate of heart attacks compared with later vaccination, which was linked to a 12 per cent reduction, said Niroshan Siriwardena, lead investigator and a University of Lincoln professor"