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Can Flu Shot Help In Reducing The Risk Of Heart Attack?

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Garima 92% (462ratings)
Can Flu Shot Help In Reducing The Risk Of Heart Attack?

Getting vaccinated against flu can help prevent all the uncomfortable symptoms and complications of influenza. Now, recent studies reveal that a flu shot can do more than just that –it can help lower the risk of heart attacks.

For heart patients, the flu season can be a precarious time. Complications from influenza are more common in people suffering from heart disease. Thankfully, getting a flu shot can minimize your chances of catching the flu or developing complications.

Why should heart patients get a flu shot?

If you already have been diagnosed with heart disease, you may be at risk of flu complications, such as heart attack, respiratory failure, and pneumonia among others. Catching flu can also worsen certain pre-existing conditions, like heart failure, asthma, and diabetes.

When you get the flu, your body prepares an immune response to fight the infection, which causes inflammation in the body. Due to this, the plaque within the blood vessels can become unstable, eventually leading to blockage and a possible stroke or heart attack. The flu virus may even directly damage the cells of your heart muscle, leading to heart failure or making it worse.

As studies suggest, anyone with heart disease should get a flu shot, as it might prevent or at least reduce your likelihood of getting a stroke or a heart attack that might be fatal. However, more research is needed to determine if high-dose flu shots are more effective and beneficial.

If you or someone else you know has cardiovascular disease, then getting a flu shot is a good idea to prevent complications and lower the risk of heart attacks.

Who should get vaccinated?

Doctors recommend getting a flu shot for everyone of age six months and older. It is particularly essential for people facing the highest risk of complications, for instance, children, adults over age 50, and those with serious health problems, like heart disease, lung disease or asthma, kidney or liver disease, etc. Yet over half of all people below age 65 and one-third of all people over age 65 with these health conditions skip an annual flu shot.

When should you get vaccinated?

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends getting vaccinated against flu by the end of October every year. In case you miss your shot within the period, you can still receive a flu shot until January since the flu season usually peaks in winter.

Your healthcare provider can help you get vaccinated against the flu. Nevertheless, it is best to consult your cardiologist beforehand to rule out potential side effects and ensure safety.

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