Flu may strongly hurt your heart, study finds

Credit: CDC.

The link between influenza and serious heart conditions just grew stronger.

In a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers examined more than 80,000 adult patients hospitalized with flu over eight seasons and found that sudden, serious heart complications were common, occurring in 12% of patients, or 1 in 8.

The study underscores the importance of getting a flu shot early. The research is at CDC. One author is Eric Chow.

Previous to this study, there had been suggestions between the link, but the current study shows just how common it is.

In the study, the team found that 5% of patients hospitalized with the flu had a cardiac complication despite having no documented underlying conditions.

In adults hospitalized with flu, 12% had acute heart complications. Of these, 30% were admitted to the ICU and 7% died while in the hospital.

In the last month, there have been cases of otherwise healthy athletes showing signs of heart complications after recovering from COVID-19.

The team says they are not surprised this is happening to healthy people who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The virus can cause damage to the lungs and other organs, including the heart. Inflammation makes hearts vulnerable to potentially fatal arrhythmias during vigorous exercise.

The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every flu season.

According to the CDC, flu vaccination is always considered important for people at high risk of developing serious flu complications, including people with heart disease.

Flu shots are approved for people with heart disease, but people with heart disease should not receive the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV, also known as the nasal spray flu vaccine).

However, any intramuscular flu shot, such as any inactivated or recombinant influenza vaccine, would be appropriate.

If you care about heart health, please read studies about a better treatment for ‘silent’ heart attacks and findings of new heart attack discovery could help people not able to be treated.

For more information about heart disease, please see recent studies about why only humans are easy to have heart attacks and results showing that big dinner may harm heart health, blood pressure.

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