Flu Shots Taken Regularly Can Reduce Premature Deaths in Newly-Diagnosed Heart Failure Patients
Injection (Photo Credits: Pixabay)

Getting an annual flu shot may reduce the risk of premature death among newly-diagnosed heart failure patients, a study has claimed. Influenza can be very serious or even fatal for patients with heart failure because they are often older than 65, have compromised circulation and other health complications, and infection may exacerbate the symptoms.

Researcher from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark analysed data on 134,048 patients with newly diagnosed heart failure over a 12-year period. Flu vaccination rates ranged from 16 per cent in 2003 to 52 per cent in 2015 with a peak of 54 per cent in 2009, according to the study published in the journal Circulation. Swine Flu: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment; Home Remedies To Prevent H1N1 Virus.

The study found that flu vaccination was associated with an 18 per cent reduced risk of premature death, even after accounting for other factors such as medications, other health conditions, income and education. Annual flu vaccination following a heart failure diagnosis was associated with a 19 per cent reduction in both all-cause and cardiovascular death when compared with no vaccination, researchers said.

Getting a flu shot less than once per year but more than not at all was associated with a 13 per cent reduced risk of all-cause death and an 8 per cent reduced risk of cardiovascular death, they said.The study also found a greater reduction in cardiovascular and all-cause death when vaccination occurred earlier in the flu season during September and October versus in November and December.

"Recent studies have indicated that the influenza vaccination coverage of patients with heart failure is inadequate," said Daniel Modin from the University of Copenhagen. "I hope that our study can assist in making physicians and cardiologists who care for patients with heart failure aware of how important influenza vaccination is for their patients," Modin said.