British researchers, who conducted the study, compared the medical records of just over 16,000 first-time heart attack victims age 40 or older with the records of nearly 62,700 people who never had heart attacks. Overall, they found that, after factoring in for other risk factors such as smoking and family history of heart attacks, there was a 19% reduction in the chances of someone having their first heart attack the next year. The benefit increased even more to 21% if individuals got their flu shots earlier in the season.
The study does not indicate, however, a simple cause-and-effect. In other words, the study does not show that the flu vaccine prevents heart attacks. Instead, it shows that the vaccine prevents respiratory infections which have been linked to heart attacks. While doctors aren’t sure how the flu protects against first attack exactly, they suspect that a respiratory infection may somehow trigger plaque rupture in the arteries.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.