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Annual flu shot can reduce risk of heart attack

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Protection against winter flu, say scientists, makes it less likely that one will develop chest infections, which can trigger heart attacks. Research indicates that paying the doctor an annual visit for a flu vaccination can slash the risk of a heart attack by twenty-five percent.

The study was conducted on some 80,000 people aged 40 and over in England and Wales. As reported on the Daily Mail, Dr Niroshan Siriwardena, who led the University of Lincoln study, said: “We know that there is a link between flu, respiratory infections and heart attacks.

“Several previous studies have shown that people who have influenza and respiratory infections suffer heart attacks several weeks later.

“We believe that this could be because flu inflames the lining of the blood vessels which can then trigger a heart attack.

“This could be why when there is a peak in winter flu there is a peak in heart attacks.

“Our research shows that people who are recommended the flu vaccine – the elderly and other vulnerable groups – should really go and get it.

“Not only are they protecting themselves against flu, they are also potentially reducing the risk of heart attacks.”

The flu virus mutates quickly with different strains appearing every year which is why it is important to have the shot – the vaccine will have been modified accordingly – every year at the beginning of the season.

Read here about how stress may increase the risk of dying due to cardiovascular disease.

Images: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/913793, http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=download&id=818437

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