Flu vaccine associated with lower risk of heart attack, stroke in older adults, study finds

Getting the influenza vaccine was linked to a significantly lower risk of heart attack and stroke among people over 50, a new study shows.

The study will be presented at the American Heart Association’s Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2020 Scientific Sessions, a virtual event from July 27-30. It includes an analysis of data from the 2014 National Inpatient Sample, a large database of patients in U.S. hospitals.

Of more than 7 million patients hospitalized, only 168,325 received the flu vaccine in 2014. Researchers found that compared to those who were not vaccinated against the flu, adults age 50 and over who had received the flu vaccine had:

● A 28 percent lower risk of heart attack
● A 73 percent lower risk of death
● A 47 percent lower risk of transient ischemic attack (or stroke)
● An 85 percent lower risk of cardiac arrest

“The results we found are staggering,” said Roshni A. Mandania, the study’s lead author and an MD candidate for the class of 2021 at Texas Tech University’s Foster School of Medicine in El Paso. “It’s hard to ignore the positive effect the flu vaccine can have on serious cardiac complications.”

The research was conducted under the guidance of Debabrata Mukherjee, MD, chief of cardiovascular services at Texas Tech University Medical Center at El Paso.

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