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Winter flu jab could lower risk of heart attacks

Published on 22/09/2010
The annual winter flu jab could become part of a healthcare plan to help prevent heart attacks.

A new study has shown that the vaccination, particularly if administered early in the influenza season, could reduce the risk of the patient suffering from a heart attack by as much as a fifth.

In a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers from the University of Lincoln analysed the medical records of 79,000 people over the age of 40.

The researchers found that people who had received the flu jab within the past year were less likely to have a heart attack.

Furthermore, it was discovered that patients who had been given their vaccination in the autumn benefited from a 21 per cent reduction in heart attack risk, while those vaccinated later in the season only enjoyed a 12 per cent reduction.

"Our findings reinforce current recommendations for annual influenza vaccination of target groups, with a potential added benefit for prevention of acute myocardial infarction in those without established cardiovascular disease," wrote the authors.

Each year in England, an estimated 111,000 people have a heart attack.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010


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