A new study finds getting a flu shot may reduce a person’s risk of dying from heart disease. The American Heart Association study says the flu can worsen cardiovascular symptoms and weaken the immune system. Getting the vaccine can reduce the risks and debilitating side effects. Doctor Mark Bissing, a cardiologist at the Iowa Heart Center, says people with a history of heart disease should certainly get a flu shot.
Bissing says people who have cardiac conditions tend not to have the resistance to various illnesses that other people might have and they can certainly be more at risk of getting the flu. For people with heart conditions, that could be a potentially life-threatening malady. He says flu shots should be available very soon.
The vaccines usually arrive in early to mid-October. Bissing says heart disease is the number-one killer in Iowa and in the U.S., so a great number of people can be effected by this. For everyone, he says getting a flu shot is a “secondary” prevention. He says primary prevention is taking good care of yourself, checking your cholesterol levels, checking your blood pressure, making sure you don’t have diabetes, staying active and exercising regularly.