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Flu Shots for Heart Patients

Updated: Wednesday, October 9 2013, 08:09 AM EDT
There is another reason to get a flu shot,  especially if you have cardiovascular disease.  News 13's Jay Siltzer explains why in today's Health Alert.

Kay Gillis isn't accustomed to getting a flu shot, "it's the first one I've had since the 90s."

A recent survivor of a heart attack and heart surgery, there's good reason for her to get the vaccine.

Dr. Brian Asbill, Asheville Cardiology, "patients with cardiovascular disease are more likely to die from the flu."

Kay Gillis, heart patient, "they've been after me to have a flu shot for quite some time because they said if I got the flu it could go to my heart and kill me."

Dr. Brian Asbill, "there is a nasal that you squirt in the nose and inhale it.  That's not what we're recommending for patients with cardiovascular disease."

That's because the safety of flu mist hasn't been established in cardiac patients and could create complications or infection according to the FDA.

Studies have shown hospitalized cardiac patients who receive a flu shot are half as likely to die from the flu compared to hospitalized patients who did not receive the shot.

However, there are risks.  Researchers say the flu might raise heart patients' cholesterol or inflame their blood vessels, which could lead to death.Flu Shots for Heart Patients


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