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Flu Vaccine May Protect Against Common Heart Condition

16/02/2016

Flu Vaccine May Protect Against Common Heart ConditionFlu vaccinations may do a lot more than just reduce your flu risk, if the findings of a new study in Taiwan are anything to go by. That’s because the researchers responsible say that a flu shot can also protect people from a common heart rhythm disorder, which significantly increases the risk of stroke.

The study of around 57,000 people in Taiwan found a significant association between the flu and atrial fibrillation (AF or A-fib); a condition that causes a person’s heart to be faster and more irregular. Research has shown in the past that AF increases a person’s risk of stroke by five times.

During the study, the researchers discovered that people who had not had a flu shot and got the flu had an 18% greater risk of developing AF than those who did not have the flu.

Published in the Heart Rhythm journal, the findings of the research showed that a person’s risk of developing AF was consistently lower when they had received a flu jab.

Dr. Tze-Fan Chao and Dr. Su-Jung Chen, of Taipei Veterans General Hospital, who lead the research, said: "Influenza vaccination should be encouraged for patients, especially those who have a high risk of atrial fibrillation, to try to prevent the occurrence of atrial fibrillation and subsequent stroke. However, a further prospective study is necessary to confirm our findings.”

 

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