and Medicine for Seniors
Seniors with Heart Problems Need to Worry About NOT
Getting Flu Shot
Those with cardiovascular problems probably most in
need of a flu shot
Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com
31, 2014 When you have heart problems, as so many senior citizens do,
it is natural to become concerned about things you put in your body
like vaccine to prevent flu. In this case, dont worry, the Centers for
Disease Control says what you should be worried about is catching the
flu that does increase the risk of a heart attack. There are even
studies that say the flu shot may offer protection against heart
Having heart disease puts you at risk for serious
health complications if you get the flu. Flu season is now here! It is
important that those at risk for complications from the flu get
vaccinated, even this late in the flu season.
The Mayo Clinic is even more adamant with a page
other website -
Flu shots: Especially important if you have heart disease.
If you have heart disease, flu
season can be a dangerous time. Death from influenza (flu) is more
common among people with heart disease than among people with any other
chronic condition. Fortunately, getting a flu shot can reduce your risk
of catching the flu or developing complications from the flu, say the
Mayo Clinic doctors.
Doctors have long recommended that
older adults and other high-risk groups get flu shots, but they now
emphasize the importance of flu shots for those with heart disease. The
flu shot could prevent thousands of flu-related complications and deaths
every year in people who have heart disease.
The real clincher, however, is a
report in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2013
that found the flu shot appears to actually prevent heart attacks.
The use of influenza vaccine was associated with a
lower risk of major adverse cardiovascular events. The greatest
treatment effect was seen among the highest-risk patients with more
active coronary disease, concluded the researchers who reviewed many
Here's what the CDC says you need to know if you
have heart disease:
● If you get the flu you are at increased risk
of having a heart attack.
● Get the
flu vaccine. It is your best protection against the flu.
● If you have heart disease you should get the
flu shot, not the nasal spray.
● If you have
flu-like symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately.
● In addition to following
treatment recommendations from your health care provider, you should
continue taking your prescription medications.
● If you notice changes in your breathing
contact your health care provider or go to an emergency room
Why does having heart disease put me at risk for
getting the flu?
Heart disease can make your body too weak to fight
off the flu. The flu can make your heart disease worse. If you contract
the flu you are at increased risk of having a heart attack.
Heart disease also increases your risk of
experiencing flu-related complications such as pneumonia.
How can I protect myself from getting the flu?
flu vaccine is the most
effective way to prevent the flu. The nasal spray vaccine is not safe
for people with heart disease. You should get a flu shot.
Because you are at an increased risk of getting
pneumonia, talk to your health care provider about the
pneumococcal vaccine. The
pneumococcal vaccine will protect you against pneumonia. In addition to
getting vaccinated, follow
everyday steps to keep
yourself healthy this
Find a place to get the flu vaccine
in your area.
Learn more about the Million Hearts
initiative to prevent heart attack and stroke.