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Hearts and flu vaccination

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Yearly vaccination against the flu reduces your risk of getting the flu – and, research indicates, can help some people reduce their risk of a heart attack.

At Women's College Hospital in Toronto, cardiologist Jacob Udell examined data on more than 6,700 patients with a history of heart disease and an average age of 67, who got a flu shot, a placebo vaccination, or usual care with no shot.

“There was a 33 percent less chance of getting cardiac events if you’d gotten the flu shot, compared to receiving either a placebo shot or just the standard of care.”

The researchers are not sure why this would happen but suspect flu could dislodge plaque that could clog arteries.

The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association was supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.