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Influenza vaccine: Possible protection against heart attacks – Austria –



A flu vaccine can protect against heart attacks.


A flu vaccine can protect against heart attacks.
© APA / BARBARA GINDL

A flu vaccine can certainly reduce the risk of a heart attack. This was announced today by the Austrian Vaccine Manufacturers Association.

Cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack or stroke and flu, are related. According to a study published in the Journal of Medicine in New England, the first week after a diagnosis of influenza was particularly critical. A flu vaccine can reduce the risk. This was announced in a press release on Wednesday by the Austrian Verband der Impfstoffhersteller (ÖVIH).

Flu vaccine can protect against heart attack.

Thus, the risk of a heart attack in the first seven days after infection with influenza is six times higher than the entire year before or after. The risk was especially high for elderly patients, those who had viral infection B, and those who had a first heart attack.

In recent years, several studies have been conducted on this issue. Why the flu leads to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, but was not fully understood, the release says.

Increased risk of inflammation

In principle, all infections caused by systemic infections and resulting from inflammation lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, other factors are likely to be added to the flu. One hypothesis is that the virus causes a clot of existing atherosclerotic plaques (deposits) and, thus, causes acute coronary occlusion, that is, blocking of the coronary arteries. Other potential causes include a decrease in anti-inflammatory activity or an increase in the circulation of macrophages (macrophages – “phagocytes” of the immune system) in arteries.

Mortality from vaccination may be reduced.

Already in 2015, another analysis of several hinwetg studies not only showed that heart attacks are more common in patients with influenza, but also that the vaccine can reduce the risk. Thus, the estimated vaccine efficacy was less than 30%. It is likely that mortality from cardiovascular diseases can be reduced by vaccination. According to the analysis of the Cochrane Library, among persons with bias in the vaccinated group, 2.3 percent of patients died, but more than 2 times (5.1 percent) in the group that was not vaccinated.


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