Getting a flu shot not only prevents you from coming down with a bad case of influenza, it may also prevent your risk of heart disease, according to a new study.
An international group of researchers analyzed data from five randomized clinical trials on vaccination and heart disease and found that getting the annual flu shot was associated with a lower risk of heart attacks, stroke, and other adverse cardiac events.
Although scientists are unsure why, the flu has been linked with a higher rate of heart problems. So keeping flu symptoms at bay may do the heart some good as well.
The researchers analyzed over 6,400 heart patients in their review, published in the medical journal JAMA. Some of the participants got a flu shot, some got a placebo, and others received no shot of any kind. Overall, there were 246 heart attacks and other cardiovascular events, and 97 heart disease-related deaths. For patients without a history of heart disease, getting vaccinated cut their risk of an heart-related event by 36 percent. In all, participants who were vaccinated had a 19 percent lower risk of death from heart disease.