For people with heart failure, getting a seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine was associated with a 50 percent drop in the risk of death during flu season and a 20 percent drop in the risk of death during the rest of the year, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session. The study comes amid a flu season that has brought higher than normal rates of infection and death.
Influenza and flu-related complications can cause death even in otherwise healthy people. Previous research has found the risk of flu-related death is elevated in people with heart failure, a condition in which the heart becomes too weak to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. About 6.5 million U.S. adults have heart failure and are susceptible to influenza-related complications including the worsening of dangerous heart failure and secondary infections such as pneumonia.
It’s not too late to get a flu vaccine and get the benefits. The flu season goes into May each year.