It is important for everyone — regardless of age — to get a flu vaccine. But if you’ve been diagnosed with a heart condition, it is especially vital that you protect yourself with a vaccine. Some people believe that flu deaths only occur in the elderly or people with preexisting respiratory illnesses. While deaths are common among these groups, people with heart disease are also at risk.
Flu symptoms can range from mild to severe. Over-the-counter medications and other home remedies can treat the condition, and most sufferers make a full recovery. But if you have heart disease, there is a higher risk of pneumonia, respiratory failure and heart attack. You can lower your risk of serious complications by avoiding the flu altogether.
Even if you have never had a flu vaccine or been sick with the flu, make plans to get an annual vaccination. It only takes a single contact with the virus to put your health at risk. Request a vaccine from your doctor or visit a local health clinic.