More proof influenza vaccines are working

If you needed another reason to prevent influenza, Canada just gave it to you.

The Canadian Institute of Health examined the health records of 364 persons hospitalized with documented influenza infection

For each patient, records one year prior and one year after were compared, using patient-as-control, one of the strongest epidemiologic tools when determining either association or cause. Results were published in the Jan. 25 edition of New England Journal of Medicine.

The findings showed a significant increase in heart attacks within the week following influenza infection. Influenza A infection conferred five times the risk of heart attack; Influenza B conferred a 10 times the risk.

Interestingly, other viral infections only showed a 3x risk, suggesting that influenza is particularly hard on the cardiovascular system.

Previous studies document a 57 percent decrease risk of hospitalization for influenza in otherwise healthy persons who receive the flu vaccine.

Don’t have a heart attack — get vaccinated today.

Allan P. Frank, MD, MS

Alpena

Assistant Professor of Medicine

MSU College of Human Medicine