Flu season might not be top-of-mind during summertime, but new research indicates that the flu vaccine is very important to heart health among individuals over the age of 50, particularly those with an inherent illness.
By the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals over age 65, people who’ve cancer, HIV or AIDS, or diabetes are considered at a greater chance of complications due to flu, and individuals who fall into these categories should find a yearly flu vaccine.
Despite this recommendation, researchers at Texas Tech University found reduced levels of influenza vaccinations among high-risk classes, for example, individuals over age 50, nursing home residents, and people who have HIV or AIDS.
After assessing seven thousand cases of individuals being hospitalized for flu, they discovered that less than 2% of adults ages 50 and older had become a flu vaccine compared with just over 15% of the overall populace. Those residing in long-term care facilities were almost 8% less likely to be vaccinated compared to individuals older than 50 who lived independently, and people over 50 living with HIV or AIDS proved approximately 6% less likely to be vaccinated for flu than people who didn’t possess the immunodeficiency.
The study team determined that at high-risk patients more than 50, obtaining the influenza vaccine has been associated with a nearly 30 percent decreased risk of heart attack, almost 50 percent decreased risk of TIA, an 85 percent reduced chance of cardiac arrest, along with a nearly 75 percent decreased risk of death in a year of being vaccinated.
“This decrease in passing is very significant given that these are individuals that are currently at a greater risk of serious complications due to getting a diminished immune system to start with,” states Roshni Mandania, an MD candidate in the Texas Tech University Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at El Paso, that led the new study.
Based on Mandania, influenza typically doesn’t result in complications in people with no current ailments, and those folks recover within about weekly.
“But, those that have a poor immune system if it’s due to diabetes, lung or heart disorder, or have cancer or AIDS, suffer from worse complications because of physiological changes which create plenty of damaging outcomes. These vulnerable people are at a greater risk of experiencing heart attacks and cardiac arrest as their bodies become overwhelmed with everything that is happening,” she adds.
Preventing Complications of Flu and Flu Disease
Based on Mandania, the immune system gets weaker with age, and elderly adults — especially those residing in nursing homes or long-term maintenance centers — are more likely to become infected and have a protracted and acute illness because of this.
Additionally, Mandania states that the flu could be more challenging to diagnose in older adults because classic signs like fever, fever, and general pains might not present so obviously in the older.
By Mandania, due to this, patients that fall to a high-risk group should have one of the maximum flu vaccination rates, instead of the extremely reduced prices her staff identified.
Mandana adds that many factors probably contribute to the very low amount of high-risk sufferers getting the influenza vaccine, such as accessibility and attitude to the vaccine.
“Occasionally there’s a disregard for the significance of the vaccine whenever someone happens to not get ill annually, or somebody does get ill and wrongly attributes it for the vaccine,” states Mandana.
Based on Eduardo Sanchez, MD, MPH, chief medical officer for avoidance in the American Heart Association, the very at-risk group are people over age 65 who have one or more underlying health conditions that raise the chance of complications from flu — that the CDC reports that almost one-fifth of patients hospitalized for the flu had a present heart disease — which one alternative is to vaccinate hospitalized high-risk patients. Also, he notes that the influenza vaccine will be critically important this season because of how patients will confront both flu and COVID-19, in addition to potentially overburdened physicians.
“The influenza vaccine can help protect high-risk patients from flu and lessen the load of severe complications that have to be cared for in hospitals,” he states.