The Flu Vaccine may help people stay healthy in more ways than expected, according to new research.
Dr. Jacob Udell, a cardiologist at Women’s College Hospital and the University of Toronto found in his research that those who received a flu shot reduced their risk of heart attacks and other serious cardiovascular problems by nearly half during a one-year follow up period.
Udell and his team held four randomized trials. After looking at the results, the trials were studied to see how the influenza vaccine might help heart health.
Some of the 3,200 people that participated in the trial were free of heart disease, while others had stable cardiovascular disease or had recently had a heart attack or other coronary problems. The original studies were done from 1994 to 2008.
For those who received the flu vaccine, there was about a 50 percent reduction in hearth attack, stroke or other major cardiovascular events. Udell and his team aren’t sure why the flu vaccine may be helpful in this manner, but has two possible explanations.
First, the vaccine may protect patients already vulnerable to illness that could tip them over the edge. And second, the heart protection may come from avoiding the inflammation associated with the flu.
The new reports of health benefits give yet another reason to encourage vaccinations for all adults – especially those that may already be at risk.