Flu vaccine can protect heart patients against the risk of suffering heart attacks or strokes, a new study reveals.
People with a history of heart attack, who took flu shots, had 55 percent lowered risk of suffering heart attacks or stroke than others. "Our study provides solid evidence that the flu shot helps prevent heart disease in vulnerable patients -with the best protection in the highest risk patients," Dr. Jacob Udell , a cardiologist at Women's College Hospital and clinician-scientist at the University of Toronto, said in a news release.
The research looked at 6,700 heart patients from six studies. Results showed that flu shot helped lower risk of a major cardiac event, including stroke, heart failure, heart attack and death from these complications by 36 percent.
"While preventative care involves lifestyle changes and taking your pills, now, we may also be able to tell patients by getting your flu shot, it might save your life - what a simple and significant way to reduce deaths and the burden on our healthcare system,"Udell added later.
Encouraged by the findings, the researchers are planning to conduct more trials and provide evidence to recommend influenza vaccine as a therapy against heart attacks and strokes.
"If the flu vaccine can reduce the risk of cardiac events, these shots could have considerable impact on cardiac health," Udell, said.
The study has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The findings bring hope, as heart-related diseases claim 17.3 million lives across the world every year.