Influenza immunization may decrease risk of acute coronary syndrome

A recent study by researchers from the University of Toronto found a correlation between influenza vaccination and decreased risk of cardiovascular conditions, including acute coronary syndrome and heart failure.

"Among nontraditional cardiovascular risk factors, there remains interest in a potential association between respiratory tract infections, of which influenza and influenza-like illnesses are common causes, and subsequent cardiovascular events," the authors of the study said.

Jacob A Udell, the leader of the study, and his team analyzed randomized clinical trials of influenza vaccination in relation to cardiovascular conditions to determine if influenza vaccination could result in a decrease in risk of cardiovascular illness. Researchers studied the data for more 6,735 patients and found that influenza vaccination decreased risk of cardiovascular conditions, especially ACS, within one year.

More research will need to be conducted to further understand the causation and whether influenza vaccination can be used as a preventative method against heart conditions.

"Within this global meta-analysis of RCTs that studied patients with high cardiovascular risk, influenza vaccination was associated with a lower risk of major adverse cardiovascular events within 1 year," the authors of the study said. "Influenza vaccination was particularly associated with cardiovascular prevention in patients with recent ACS. Future research with an adequately powered multicenter trial to confirm the efficacy of this low-cost, annual, safe, easily administered, and well-tolerated therapy to reduce cardiovascular risk beyond current therapies is warranted."