Flu Vaccination and the Heart

HeartFluShotShieldRecently, I read an online article about flu vaccine providing protection for the heart. It is interesting that a flu shot might benefit the cardiovascular system along with its intended boost to the immune system. 

Medical science has long known a timely flu vaccination triggers an immune response that builds antibodies to certain strains of flu virus. Silent antibody-creation processes work for weeks to generate this ability to fight off flu for months. Maybe some of these antibody molecules guard the heart by reducing the risk of major cardiac events, such as heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.

Other information I found online described small studies that indicated flu vaccination protects the heart. People with Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators (ICDs) received fewer shocks from their ICDs after receiving a flu shot. People with heart rhythm disorders had fewer abnormal heartbeat episodes after vaccination. But research efforts in these areas are still in early stages of discovery. None of them have identified the protective cardiac mechanisms. The initial findings encourage further study to identify them.

Each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Heart Association recommend that many adults, including those with heart disease and diabetes, receive an annual flu shot. But more than half of all adults are not vaccinated, and likely some of them have heart issues.

Last week, I called my medical providers to find out when flu shots are available, and I am planning to schedule mine soon. Now I look forward to flu immunity and maybe some heart health benefits. The possibility of the vaccine helping my heart gives me more incentive to take care of this important investment in my health. What do you think about this?

RedHeartClosingSymbol Susan

2 thoughts on “Flu Vaccination and the Heart

  1. Victoria October 7, 2015 / 8:52 pm

    I just got my annual flu shot – it really helped last year, I didn’t get any of the strains of flu that went around.

    I didn’t know that about the heart! As someone with high blood pressure, this is good news. I think we are finding out that a lot of things we didn’t think were connected, are – like this, and also isn’t there some connection between digestive issues and immune system problems? I don’t know if the research is in on that yet.

    Are you going to get the pneumonia vaccine, too? That one is good for 3 years, I think. And just today I read that “they” (whoever “they” are, manufacturers, maybe?) lowered the recommended age for the shingles vaccine from 65 to 50. I am going to ask my doctor about that next month when I see him.

    Anyway…interesting and thoughtful post!


  2. SusanU October 8, 2015 / 6:38 am

    Thank you for your informative input. I remember reading that about 70% of immunity is produced by the gut. It is good to check into pneumonia and shingles vaccines. I will do that at my next appointment.


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