Flu vaccination avoids the risk of myocardial infarction
In addition, cardiovascular patients should also take other flu preventive measures such as washing hands frequently, avoiding contact with people who have fever or are suffering from influenza; taking adequate cardiovascular drugs; exercise in moderation and avoid stress, ensuring a good diet, experts noted.
Influenza vaccines are about 15-45% effective at preventing myocardial infarction and avoid the risk of exacerbation of other cardiovascular diseases.
Ms. 20 weeks pregnant, went to the emergency room at the Hospital, Hanoi after a high fever of 39 degrees Celsius, cough with solid yellow sputum, sticky, feeling chest tightness after coughing.
The patient was found to have severe pneumonia due to influenza A, accompanied by ventricular septal heart disease and mild 2-leaf valve regurgitation.
She had not received a flu vaccine before. Doctors prescribe antiviral drugs and antibiotics to pregnant women.
Experts said that this is one of the high-risk cases leading to severe complications due to influenza, causing danger to the mother and fetus; the risk of superinfectious pneumonia and cardiovascular effects.
According to experts, in the US, in recent flu seasons, about 50% of adults hospitalized for flu treatment are people with heart disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that people with heart disease and stroke get the flu vaccine annually to avoid the risk of serious complications.
Influenza viruses impact the heart
Studies have found the flu has been linked to heart attacks and strokes.
Specifically, according to research published in the US National Library of Medicine, people with influenza are 6 times more likely to have a heart attack within a week, most pronounced in the elderly and those who have had a heart attack once.
In 2020, when studying more than 80,000 adults in the US hospitalized with the flu, experts also found that one in 8 patients had heart failure or heart attack, or 12%.
Experts said that influenza works according to many mechanisms, including the release of cytokines that cause pre-thrombosis; local disruption of coronary plaques, along with physiological effects such as hypoxia, tachycardia, acute blockage of coronary arteries, and acute myocardial infarction.
Other mechanisms include sympathetic activation, thrombus formation through the nonspecific anticoagulant and coagulation effects of inflammation; epithelial dysfunction; inadequate coronary arterial blood flow due to increased metabolic needs accompanied by fever and tachycardia; decrease in oxygen saturation and hypotension accompanied by secondary vasoconstriction.
According to experts, there is growing evidence to show the effect of influenza viruses on the cardiovascular system.
The flu virus attacks the heart muscle and pericardium, causing scars in the heart, which can lead to arrhythmias or heart failure.
In some other cases, the influenza virus causes acute myocarditis, which dies quickly.
Even influenza pneumonia indirectly affects the heart when it causes shortness of breath, causing heart failure and breathing disorders.
People with heart disease are at risk of dying from influenza, specifically those with heart failure, hypertensive heart disease, cardiopulmonary disease, heart valve disorders, arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation, congenital heart defects.
“If a person has both cardiovascular disease and respiratory illness and is infected with the same flu, the chances of dying are 20 times higher than the average person.
If only respiratory illness and influenza, death increases 12 times. If you have cardiovascular disease and flu infection, the risk of death increases 5 times.
The flu is not a mild illness like a cold; in fact, this is a disease that can be deadly, so people need to get a flu shot early and fully”, experts emphasized.
Flu vaccine protects people with heart disease
According to experts, many other studies have shown that the flu vaccine can prevent the risk of myocardial infarction, reducing cardiovascular events by 10% in patients with acute coronary syndrome during the 12-month follow-up period.
A 2016 study published in the British Medical Journal found that the flu shot can reduce the risk of acute myocardial infarction by 15% to 45%.
The researchers found this effect to be similar to other heart disease prevention measures that have become very familiar such as stopping smoking (32-43% effective), taking statins to lower blood fat (19-30%); antihypertensive therapy (17-25%).
The researchers explain that the flu vaccine protects against the risk of heart attack first and foremost by preventing the flu virus.
At the same time, antibodies caused by the flu vaccine produce a cross-reaction with the bradykinin receptor in humans.
This interaction can lead to increased nitric oxide levels, increase the efficiency of oxygen utilization by the heart muscle as well as lead to increased blood flow through vasodilation.
“In 2008, heart disease became the leading cause of death in the world with about 13% of all deaths globally.
Influenza vaccines are recommended as part of the management and prevention of heart diseases globally, in addition to stopping smoking, lowering cholesterol, and controlling blood pressure,” experts said.
Currently, Asia has a new generation of quadrilateral influenza vaccine such as Vaxigrip Tetra (France), Influvac Tetra (Netherlands), GC Flu Quadrivalent (South Korea), preventing 4 strains of dangerous influenza virus in circulation, 2 strains of influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2) and 2 strains of influenza B (Yamagata and Victoria) for both children and adults, people with chronic underlying medical conditions including cardiovascular.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health of Vietnam recommend prioritizing influenza vaccination for people with dangerous chronic underlying medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease.
Because the immunity created by the flu vaccine will decrease over time and the seasonal flu virus is constantly mutating, it is necessary to get an annual flu shot to maintain the best protection for the body.
This is especially important for cardiovascular patients.
This is especially important for cardiovascular patients.