Flu Shot Linked to Reduced Risk of Heart Attack
A recent study released in the Canadian Medical Association Journal indicates a link between flu vaccinations and a reduced risk of heart attack. The researchers examined medical records of first time heart attack patients as well as a control group of patients with no heart attack history. After accounting for a wide range of additional risk factors, researchers calculated that the flu vaccine was associated with a 19 percent reduction in the risk of heart attack for the year in which the patient received the shot.
Researchers are quick to point out that this doesn’t mean that the vaccine itself has an impact on heart attack risk. Their conclusion was that the decreased risk of the flu and its side effects results in the decreased risk of heart complications. One of the limitations to such case studies is that the researchers are confined to the specific information in the medical history files of each patient. The author of the study suggested that the findings point to the need for clinical trials to compare randomly vaccinated and non-vaccinated patients to assess for heart attack risk specifically.