Flu vaccine may cut heart failure risk in diabetes patients

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London, July 26 (IANS) Flu vaccine may reduce the likelihood of being hospitalised with stroke and heart failure in people with Type-2 diabetes, new research has found.

The study also found that patients who received the influenza vaccination had a 24 per cent lower death rate in the flu season compared to patients who were not vaccinated.

“Most flu deaths every year occur in people with pre-existing health conditions such as Type-2 diabetes,” said lead author of the study Eszter Vamos from Imperial College London.

“This study suggests the vaccine may have substantial benefits for patients with long-term conditions. Not only might it help reduce serious illness such as stroke – and possibly heart attack – in high-risk individuals, but it may also reduce the risk of death in the flu season,” Vamos noted.

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Type 2 diabetes results in a person being unable to control their blood sugar properly.. People with the condition are at high risk of cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, possibly due to high blood sugar levels damaging blood vessels.

Furthermore, flu infection has been found to increase the risk of heart attack or stroke in patients with cardiovascular disease.

The team studied 124,503 British adults with Type-2 diabetes between 2003 and 2010.

Around 65 per cent of these patients received the flu vaccine.

The scientists found that, compared to patients who had not been vaccinated, those who received the jab had a 30 per cent reduction in hospital admissions for stroke, 22 per cent reduction in heart failure admissions and 15 per cent reduction in admissions for pneumonia or influenza.

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Furthermore, people who were vaccinated had a 24 per cent lower death rate than patients who were not vaccinated, showed the findings published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).



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