The Link Between the Flu and Heart Attack

Doctors have discovered a link between heart attacks and the flu. Not only does the flu vaccine help prevent more than a bad cold, it has the potential to lower the chance of having a heart attack for those who are at high risk.

“When someone comes into the hospital with a heart attack, it’s not uncommon that this individual has had some type of viral illness or process in the recent past,” said Dr. Laurence Sperling of Emory Heart & Vascular Center.

In one study, participants 35 years and older whom were at risk of a heart attack increased their risk six times within a week of getting the flu.

The vaccine may be effective short-term against heart attacks like quitting smoking or taking blood pressure medications.

“Every single one of our patients who has heart disease, part of our process is to discuss a flu vaccine. Not just to prevent the flu, but as a means of preventing a heart problem,” Sperling said.

About Emory Heart & Vascular Center

Here at the Emory Healthcare Heart & Vascular Center, your heart and vascular health is our priority. Our program is consistently recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top heart health centers in the nation. The center has a national reputation for treating complicated heart conditions by using the most advanced treatment options and therapies.


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