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Influenza vaccine may reduce risk of heart disease and death
Date:10/27/2012

d their demographics, health status, if they received a flu shot in the past year and opinions towards the vaccine.

The patients' health charts were reviewed to determine all ICD therapies in five months preceding the 2010 flu season (June to October) and for three months during the 2010-2011 flu season (December to March).

A total of 230 patients with an average age between 70 and 74 completed surveys with 179 (78 per cent) patients reported receiving the vaccination in the previous year. Just over 20 per cent did not receive the vaccine.

The patients who did not receive the flu vaccine had a trend toward experiencing more ICD therapies on average. Specifically, 10.6 per cent of patients who received the vaccine received at least one ICD therapy during flu season compared to 13.7 per cent of patients who did not receive the influenza vaccine.

"What is interesting is that if this is consistent over time, it could be of significant benefit to our patient population who already have compromised survival to start with," says Dr. Singh.

"We would like to look at this on a larger scale to determine whether or not our results can be replicated. We're in the process to determine how best to do that." An ICD is a small battery-powered electrical impulse generator implanted in patients who are at risk of sudden cardiac death.

The device is programmed to detect cardiac arrhythmia and correct it by delivering a jolt of electricity or increasing the heart rate to restore a healthy rhythm once an irregular beat has been detected.

About 5,000 Canadians get ICDs every year and there are about 100,000 Canadians who currently have them. (Most Canadians with advanced heart disease are potential candidates for ICDs.)

Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson says these studies strengthen National Advisory Committee for Immunization recommendations for the use of the influenza vaccine in tho
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Contact: Jane-Diane Fraser
jfraser@hsf.ca
613-569-4361 x273
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Source:Eurekalert

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