Flu Shots May Reduce Risk of Heart Attacks, Strokes and Even Death

Source: Los Angeles Times

By: Kaplan, Karen


A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that the flu vaccine also protects against heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular events. An international group of researchers studied data from a dozen randomized clinical trials, including five trials published in peer-reviewed journals that compared the flu vaccine to a placebo vaccine or other control. Only 2.9 percent of the 3,238 patients in those trials who received the flu vaccine later experienced a major adverse cardiovascular event, compared with 4.7 percent of the 3,231 patients who received a placebo or other control. Researchers calculated that the flu shot reduces the risk of serious heart problems by 36 percent, and vaccinating 58 additional people would eliminate one death or serious illness related to heart problems. However, researchers are uncertain why the flu boosts the risk of serious heart problems.

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