2 Ways a Flu Shot Could Protect Your Heart

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Patient after receiving a vaccine
Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

Getting an annual flu shot can protect you from influenza, an illness that kills tens of thousands of Americans each year. But the vaccine may offer two other potentially life-saving benefits that might surprise you.

Getting a flu vaccine is associated with lower risks of both heart attack and death from a cardiovascular event, according to a meta-analysis recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The analysis looked at data on more than 9,000 patients, with an average age of 61, who had participated in clinical trials. Half had received a flu shot, while the other half were given a placebo.

After analyzing this data, the researchers concluded that those who received a vaccination for influenza suffered significantly fewer heart attacks and cardiovascular events leading to death when compared to patients who received the placebo.

The researchers characterized the reduction in cardiovascular deaths among vaccinated patients as “remarkable.” In the study, they write:

“Notably, patients who received the influenza vaccine experienced a remarkable risk reduction of over 20% in cardiovascular death. These findings underscore the potential impact of influenza vaccination in safeguarding against adverse cardiovascular outcomes among vulnerable patient populations.”

The researchers also looked for an association between receiving a flu shot and the risk of stroke, but they did not find any.

This is not the first research to indicate a reduction in heart-related illness among those who get the flu shot. Learn more in our story “4 Surprising Benefits of Flu Shots.”

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