The flu greatly increases the risk of heart attack, according to a study

News 24 January, 2018
  • AFP

    Wednesday, 24 January 2018 19:59

    Wednesday, 24 January 2018 20:05

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    People with the flu may have a risk of heart attack increased six-fold during the first week of the infection, according to a study published Wednesday, and that reinforces the need to extend widely the vaccination.

    The risk of a heart attack is especially high among the elderly, highlight the authors of the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). It confirms previous studies showing a link between flu, heart attacks and increased mortality.

    “These results are significant because they confirm the existence of a link between influenza and myocardial infarction, and reinforces the importance of vaccines,” stresses Jeff Kwong, a researcher of the Institute of clinical sciences and public health Ontario in Canada.

    The study is based on nearly 20,000 cases of influenza in adults confirmed by laboratories in Ontario between 2009 and 2014.

    Among these patients, 332 were hospitalized following a heart attack in the year following an infection by the influenza virus.

    The cardiac risk seems to have been the greatest in the first seven days of the influenza especially in the elderly infected with influenza virus type B as well as those undergoing a first heart attack.

    Other viral agents responsible for respiratory infections also increase the risk of heart attack, but not as much as the flu virus, the study notes