Flu Vaccine Benefit

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Story Updated: Oct 30, 2012

.. It may be good for your heart!

Have you had your annual flu shot? Hurry up....it may be good for your heart!

Two studies, just presented at the 2012 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, point to the protective effects of the flu vaccine...well beyond that for just the flu itself. It may also lower your odds for heart-related issues.

The first study looked at published clinical trials on this subject, dating back to the 1960s...which included more than 3-thousand cases.

After a full analysis of the data, the influenza vaccine was linked to 50% lower risk of a major cardiac event-heart attack, stroke or cardiac death.

In the second study, the focus was on heart patients with an implanted defibrillator during the 2011 flu season. These patients were believed to have more shocks from the ICD's during flu season, so researchers wanted to find a way to reduce the shocks.

10.6% of those who received the influenza vaccine received at least 1 ICD shock during influenza season...compared to 13.7% who did NOT have a flu vaccination. The takeaway? In addition to leading a heart healthy life...having a flu shot may keep the heart doctor away!

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news that matters to you.