Flu Shot a Lifesaver for Heart Failure Patients

Flu Shot a Lifesaver for Heart Failure Patients

If you're a heart failure patient, new research suggests you would be wise to get a flu shot every year.

Sign Up & Receive Your Personalized MedCircle Digest Delivered To Your Inbox.
Join today!

After reviewing six studies that included more than 78,000 heart failure patients in the United States, Asia and Europe, researchers found that an annual flu vaccine reduced patients' risk of death by 50 percent during the flu season and by 20 percent during the rest of the year.

It was also associated with a 22 percent lower risk of hospitalization for heart problems.

"It is well-known that influenza infection is associated with increased risk for mortality in heart failure patients," said study author Dr. Hidekatsu Fukuta, a cardiologist at Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Japan.

"Given the high mortality rate and the relatively low influenza vaccination rates in heart failure patients worldwide, our study supports a wider use of influenza vaccination in heart failure patients," Fukuta added.

In the studies reviewed by Fukuta's team, the proportion of heart failure patients who got a flu shot ranged widely, from 26 percent to 86 percent.

The findings will be presented March 11 at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting, in Orlando, Fla. Research presented at meetings is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

About 6.5 million U.S. adults have heart failure. The Heart Failure Society of America recommends annual flu vaccination for all eligible heart failure patients, but the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association and European Society of Cardiology do not make specific recommendations for heart failure patients.

And while the latest findings suggest that annual flu shots benefit heart failure patients, they do not necessarily prove cause and effect, the researchers noted.

Sign Up & Receive Your Personalized MedCircle Digest Delivered To Your Inbox.
Join today!

"Randomized controlled studies should be planned to confirm our observed potential survival benefit of influenza vaccination in these patients," Fukuta said in an American College of Cardiology news release.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on seasonal flu vaccination.


Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


Related Content

Empowering Kids In An Anxious World
Empowering Kids In An Anxious World

Rates of anxiety and depression among teens in the U.S. have been rising for yea...

Read more
Key Social Reward Circuit in the Brain Impaired in Kids With Autism
Key Social Reward Circuit in the Brain Impaired in Kids With Autism

Children with autism have structural and functional abnormalities in the brain c...

Read more
‘It's Like My Brain Was Punched’: The Rise of OCD and Perfectionism
‘It's Like My Brain Was Punched’: The Rise of OCD and Perfectionism

Tom Nicol thought he had a problem with sleep. He could never get enough. He too...

Read more
Farming Nonprofit Helps Vets With PTSD Reintegrate Into Civilian Life
Farming Nonprofit Helps Vets With PTSD Reintegrate Into Civilian Life

An average of 20 veterans commit suicide each day—a statistic that weighs on the...

Read more
Student Mental Health Support Must Improve, Universities Told
Student Mental Health Support Must Improve, Universities Told

Universities are being told to "dramatically improve" support for students with ...

Read more
Destiny's Child's Michelle Williams 'Proudly' Seeking Mental Health Help
Destiny's Child's Michelle Williams 'Proudly' Seeking Mental Health Help

Destiny's Child singer Michelle Williams says she has "sought help" for the good...

Read more