Can Flu Shots Help Prevent Heart Disease? - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Can Flu Shots Help Prevent Heart Disease?

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You hear it every year, don't go without a flu shot. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows the reasons to get the shot are, now more than ever before.

"There's an extra benefit from getting the flu vaccine, that being preventing cardiac complications," says St. Vincent Healthcare Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Frederick Kahn, M.D.

The question is then raised, how exactly does a simple flu shot help prevent cardiac problems?

"We do know that some infection and in particular, influenza, has an adverse or bad effect on the heart artery lining. That's where the plaque builds up in the heart arteries and sometimes that infection will cause that plaque buildup to actually converge and cause a blockage in the artery," says St. Vincent Healthcare Cardiologist, Dr. Joseph Apostol, M.D.

The study goes on to show how a flu shot, in many cases, can lower your risk of cardiac complications quite significantly.

"You may get as much as a fifty percent lower risk of having a cardiac event that season by getting that year's flu vaccine," says Kahn.

"Even for those who may have risk factors, but not the diagnoses for heart disease, it will help those people too," says Apostol.

So making sure you stay on track with your shots, could result in positive health results for years to come.