Friday, November 30, 2012
I recently read a health website and found some good news about flu shots:
"If you’re tempted to skip your flu shot, consider this: Getting vaccinated cuts risk for a heart attack or stroke by up to 50 percent. Those who got the flu shot were 50 percent less likely to suffer major cardiac events (such as heart attacks or strokes) and 40 percent less likely to die of cardiac causes. Similar trends were found in patients with and without previous heart disease. The findings suggest “that flu vaccine is a heart vaccine.”
Researchers report that up to 91,000 Americans a year die from heart attacks and strokes triggered by flu. This grim statistic prompted the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology to issue guidelines recommending vaccination for patients with cardiovascular disease.
Sadly, fewer than half of Americans with high-risk conditions like heart disease get the shot, leaving themselves dangerously unprotected against both flu complications and cardiovascular events.
Inflammation, which has recently been shown to actually cause heart attacks, is what lights the match, causing plaque to explosively rupture through the arterial wall.
When a plaque rupture tears the blood vessel lining, the body tries to heal the injury by forming a blood clot. If the clot obstructs a coronary artery, it can trigger a heart attack, while a clot that travels to the brain could ignite an ischemic stroke. It’s a myth that plaque buildup alone sparks heart attacks, since numerous studies have shown that what chokes off flow to the heart is a clot.
Another surprising benefit of getting a flu shot is reduced risk for pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs) and deep vein thrombosis (a clot in the legs)."
I'm sure glad I got my flu and pneumonia shot this year. So many times, a serious case of the flu can escalate into pneumonia. Therefore, I got my "heart shot" and should feel better for it!