Every year it’s recommended that all individuals receive the influenza vaccination. The flu shot offers protection against specific strains of that season’s virus.
But, along with flu prevention, the vaccine may improve health in other areas. Recent studies have shown that this vaccine is especially important to individuals with a history of heart problems.
These heart problems could include heart failure, heart disease, or even a stroke.
Research conducted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada showed that individuals with a history of heart problems who received the flu vaccination showed results of:
- A 36 percent reduced risk of experiencing a cardiac event
- This number improved to a 55 percent reduced chance if the individual experienced a recent cardiac event.
- And of course, this all lead to less deaths resulting from a cardiac event.
A study published in Denmark earlier this month showed similar positive effects of the flu vaccination on individuals with heart health risks. This study looked specifically at how the vaccine influenced patients with a history of heart failure. The study largely looked at whether the shot could be associated with improving long-term survival rates of the patients.
These were the results over just a three year span:
- Individuals who received at least one vaccine had reduced their risk of death by 18 percent.
- Individuals who received the flu shot every year experienced percentages that were even higher.
Results even showed a difference depending on which time of year a person was vaccination. If vaccinated frequently and earlier in the year, a person significantly reduced their risk of heart failure compared to individuals who only received the vaccine sporadically.
These results are promising reminders of the importance of receiving a flu shot every year. But keep in mind, it’s not recommended that you should rely on the influenza vaccination solely to protect against heart failure. What the shot does appear to offer is one unexpected health benefit during the flu season.
Even if you are not an individual with a heart condition or a history of heart failure, it is important to get vaccinated every single year. Depending on what type of area you live in, the virus may even spread differently. If you are not protected, you are susceptible to influenza (even if you were vaccinated last year). The strain of the flu mutates every single year. Researchers design every annual flu shot to fight off the expected strains for that year.
Do you have any other questions about the positive side effects of the influenza vaccine? Do you still need your flu shot for this year? It’s not too late to protect yourself.
Give us a call at or book an appointment online to receive your flu shot.
Did you know that the flu vaccine could help individuals with a history of heart failure? Do you know anyone has experienced this or any other unexpected benefits from the vaccine? Share your story with us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.
Written for Passport Health by Kaitlyn Luckow. Kaitlyn is a freelance writer, photographer and English teacher in Milwaukee. She has a passion for capturing and writing other people’s stories. You can find her at sayhellostory.com.