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Influenza vaccine: possible protection against heart attack – Austria –



An influenza vaccine can protect yourself from a heart attack.


An influenza vaccine can protect yourself from a heart attack.
© APA / BARBARA GINDL

Influenza vaccine can definitely reduce the risk of heart attack. It was announced today by the Austrian Association of Vaccine Producers.

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

An influenza vaccine can protect yourself from a heart attack

The risk of heart attack in the first seven days after the flu is six times greater than the whole year before or after. Particularly high risk was in elderly patients, those with a B virus infection and those with a first heart attack.

In recent years there have been several studies on this topic. Why is flu causing an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, but it's not fully understood, says the statement.

Increased risk of inflammation

Basically, all infections caused by systemic infections and inflammation caused by them lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. However, in the case of influenza, other factors may be added. One hypothesis is that the virus leads to an existing atherosclerotic plate (sediment) thrombus and thus causes acute coronary occlusion, that is, coronary artery blockade. Other possible causes are reduced anti-inflammatory activity or increased macrophage circulation (macrophages – the immune system "phagocytes") in the arteries.

Deaths from vaccination can be reduced

From the year 2015, the analysis of several 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 calculated vaccine efficacy was slightly less than 30 percent. Vaccination can also reduce cardiovascular deaths. According to the Cochrane Library's analysis, 2.3% of patients died, but more than twice as many (5.1%) in the non-vaccinated group, among those who were vaccinated with a deviation.


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