Annual flu jab could cut the risk of heart attacks

Flu jabs could cut the risk of heart attacks by almost a quarter, according to new research...

Scientists claim that flu jabs cut the risk of a heart attack by 25% by protecting against the development of chest infections, which can trigger heart attacks.

The study conducted on 800,000 patients over the age of 40, found that those who had been vaccinated against winter flu were 19% less likely to suffer a heart attack.

Dr. Niroshan Siriwardena, who led the study at the University of Lincoln said, ‘Several previous studies have shown that people who have influenza and respiratory infections suffer heart attacks several weeks later.’

‘We believe that this could be because flu inflames the lining of the blood vessels which can then trigger a heart attack,’ he added.

The flu virus is constantly mutating so scientists are urging individuals to have an annual modified vaccine to protect themselves from the different strains.

The study is supported by earlier research conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2007 which found that flu can double the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

The scientists claimed that the virus dislodges fatty deposits, which can then become stuck in the arteries to the heart or in the brain causing a heart attack or a stroke.

Around 15 million people in Britain catch the flu or a bad cold every year.

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