Breaking News
January 21, 2019 - How Much Caffeine is Too Much?
January 21, 2019 - Take a timeout before you force your child to apologize
January 21, 2019 - Scientists design two AI algorithms to improve early detection of cognitive impairment
January 21, 2019 - Novel therapy for children with chronic hormone deficiency provides lifeline for parents
January 21, 2019 - Bioethicists call for oversight of poorly regulated, consumer-grade neurotechnology products
January 21, 2019 - Study shows hereditary hemochromatosis behind many cancers and joint diseases
January 21, 2019 - Short bouts of stairclimbing throughout the day can improve cardiovascular health
January 20, 2019 - Liver Transplant Survival May Improve With Race Matching
January 20, 2019 - Study implicates hyperactive immune system in aging brain disorders
January 20, 2019 - Cancer Diagnosis May Quadruple Suicide Risk
January 20, 2019 - Parkinson’s disease experts devise a roadmap
January 20, 2019 - Research brings new hope to treating degenerative brain diseases
January 20, 2019 - Scientists pinpoint a set of molecules that wire the body weight center of the brain
January 20, 2019 - Researchers get close to developing elusive blood test for Alzheimer’s disease
January 20, 2019 - UCLA researchers demonstrate new technique to develop cancer-fighting T cells
January 20, 2019 - Researchers discover how cancer cells avoid genetic meltdown
January 20, 2019 - Exercise makes even the ‘still overweight’ healthier: study
January 20, 2019 - University of Utah to establish first-of-its-kind dark sky studies minor in the US
January 20, 2019 - School-based nutritional programs reduce student obesity
January 20, 2019 - Improved maternity care practices in the southern U.S. reduce racial inequities in breastfeeding
January 20, 2019 - New enzyme biomarker test indicates diseases and bacterial contamination
January 20, 2019 - Republican and Democratic governors have different visions to transform health care, say researchers
January 20, 2019 - Researchers discover that spin flips happen in only half a picosecond in the course of a chemical reaction
January 20, 2019 - Suicide Risk Up More Than Fourfold for Cancer Patients
January 20, 2019 - Doctors find 122 nails in Ethiopian’s stomach
January 20, 2019 - UV disinfection technology eliminates up to 97.7% of pathogens in operating rooms
January 20, 2019 - Researchers discover mechanism which drives leukemia cell growth
January 20, 2019 - AHA: Infection as a Baby Led to Heart Valve Surgery for Teen
January 20, 2019 - Injection improves vision in a form of childhood blindness
January 20, 2019 - Multiple sclerosis therapies delay progression of disability
January 20, 2019 - New study finds infrequent helmet use among bike share riders
January 20, 2019 - Clearing up information about corneal dystrophies
January 20, 2019 - Researchers describe new behavior in energy metabolism that refutes existing evidence
January 20, 2019 - New study takes first step toward treating endometriosis
January 20, 2019 - Researchers find how GREB1 gene promotes resistance to prostate cancer treatments
January 20, 2019 - Replacing Sitting Time With Activity Lowers Mortality Risk
January 20, 2019 - A simple, inexpensive intervention makes birth safer for moms and babies in parts of Africa
January 19, 2019 - New anti-inflammatory compound acts as ‘surge protector’ to reduce cancer growth
January 19, 2019 - Significant flaws found in recently released forensic software
January 19, 2019 - New Leash on Life? Staying Slim Keeps Pooches Happy, Healthy
January 19, 2019 - Men and women remember pain differently
January 19, 2019 - Rising air pollution linked with increased ER visits for breathing problems
January 19, 2019 - Study uses local data to model food consumption patterns among Seattle residents
January 19, 2019 - The brain’s cerebellum plays role in controlling reward and social behaviors, study shows
January 19, 2019 - Relationship between nurse work environment and patient safety
January 19, 2019 - Pioneering surgery restores movement to children paralyzed by acute flaccid myelitis
January 19, 2019 - Genetic variants linked with risk tolerance and risky behaviors
January 19, 2019 - New research provides better understanding of our early human ancestors
January 19, 2019 - First-ever tailored reporting guidance to improve patient care and outcomes
January 19, 2019 - 4.6 percent of Massachusetts residents have opioid use disorder
January 19, 2019 - New study suggests vital exhaustion as risk factor for dementia
January 19, 2019 - New antibiotic discovery heralds breakthrough in the fight against drug-resistant bacteria
January 19, 2019 - Ural Federal University scientists synthesize a group of multi-purpose fluorophores
January 19, 2019 - Researchers identify new therapeutic target in the fight against chronic liver diseases
January 19, 2019 - Preparation, characterization of Soyasapogenol B loaded onto functionalized MWCNTs
January 19, 2019 - FDA Approves Ontruzant (trastuzumab-dttb), a Biosimilar to Herceptin
January 19, 2019 - Tobacco use linked with higher use of opioids and sedatives
January 19, 2019 - Study delves deeper into developmental dyslexia
January 19, 2019 - Anti-vaccination movement one of the top health threats in 2019 says WHO
January 19, 2019 - Newly developed risk score more effective at identifying type 1 diabetes
January 19, 2019 - Highly effective protocol to prepare cannabis samples for THC/CBD analysis
January 19, 2019 - Prinston Pharmaceutical Inc. Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Irbesartan and Irbesartan HCTZ Tablets Due to Detection of a Trace Amount of Unexpected Impurity, N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) in the Products
January 19, 2019 - How does solid stress from brain tumors cause neuronal loss, neurologic dysfunction?
January 19, 2019 - $14.7 million partnership to supercharge vaccine development
January 19, 2019 - Ian Fotheringham receives Charles Tennant Memorial Lecture award
January 19, 2019 - Brain vital signs detect neurophysiological impairments in players with concussions
January 19, 2019 - Lack of job and poor housing conditions increased likelihood of people attending A&E
January 19, 2019 - Novel targeted drug delivery system improves conventional cancer treatments
January 19, 2019 - Rutgers study finds gene responsible for spread of prostate cancer
January 19, 2019 - Complications Higher Than Expected for Invasive Lung Tests
January 19, 2019 - 3-D printed implant promotes nerve cell growth to treat spinal cord injury
January 19, 2019 - Automated texts lead to improved outcomes after total knee or hip replacement surgery
January 19, 2019 - Poor cardiorespiratory fitness could increase risk of future heart attack, finds new study
January 19, 2019 - Drinking soft drinks while exercising in hot weather may increase risk of kidney disease
January 19, 2019 - Formlabs 3D prints anatomical models
January 19, 2019 - Heart-Healthy Living Also Wards Off Type 2 Diabetes
January 19, 2019 - Teaching Kids to Be Smart About Social Media (for Parents)
January 19, 2019 - Metabolite produced by gut microbiota from pomegranates reduces inflammatory bowel disease
January 19, 2019 - Researchers examine how spray from showers and toilets expose us to disease causing bacteria
January 19, 2019 - Behavioral experiments confirm that additional neurons improve brain function
More Bad News on Flu: It’s Tied to Higher Heart Attack Risk

More Bad News on Flu: It’s Tied to Higher Heart Attack Risk

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 24, 2018 — A bad case of the flu can trigger a short-lived, but substantial, spike in some people’s heart attack risk, new research suggests.

Among 332 heart attack patients, the complication was six times more likely to strike following a bout of the flu, researchers reported.

The findings come in the midst of a particularly brutal flu season.

Across the United States, flu-related hospitalizations are spiking, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most recent figures put the rate at 31.5 hospitalizations per 100,000 Americans, versus only 13.7 per 100,000 two weeks earlier.

The Canadian researchers said their findings underscore some longstanding advice: Get a yearly flu shot, especially if you’re at increased risk of a heart attack.

“If you have heart disease, you take it as gospel that you should do things like take your cholesterol medication and keep your blood pressure under control,” said lead researcher Dr. Jeffrey Kwong.

“You should look at the yearly flu shot that way, too,” said Kwong, a scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, in Toronto.

Studies have long shown that flu infection is linked to an increased risk of heart attack in people who are vulnerable.

And for years, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and other groups have recommended that people with heart disease get an annual flu shot.

But the new findings strengthen the theory that a flu infection can actually trigger a heart attack, according to Dr. Andy Miller, chair-elect of the ACC’s Board of Governors. However, the study did not prove that the flu can cause a heart attack.

Still, “there’s a growing line of evidence that inflammation, and interventions that reduce inflammation, are important in heart attack risk,” said Miller, who was not involved in the study.

He explained how a flu infection could, in theory, cause trouble: If a person already has artery-clogging plaques, a bout of the flu could cause inflammation — body-wide and within blood vessels — that then causes a plaque to rupture. When a plaque breaks apart, it can completely block an artery supplying the heart, causing a heart attack.

The new study was able to look at how people’s heart attack risk changed in relation to the timing of a flu infection.

Kwong’s team started with nearly 20,000 Ontario adults who’d come down with a case of the flu that was confirmed through lab testing. Out of that group, 332 were hospitalized for a heart attack within a year.

On average, the study found, patients were six times more likely to suffer their heart attack in the week after their flu infection was confirmed — as compared with the year before, or the year after.

The patients also faced a higher risk shortly after coming down with other respiratory infections, the findings showed.

According to Kwong, the patients likely had severe infections — bad enough to warrant a trip to the doctor and lab testing. So it’s not clear, he noted, whether milder cases would carry the same risk.

Nor can the study say what the absolute risk of heart attack would be for any one person who catches the flu, Kwong said.

But, Miller added, out of 20,000 people with serious flu infections, relatively few had a heart attack over the next year.

The flu shot is imperfect: It’s no guarantee against infection, and it works better during some flu seasons than others. But, Kwong pointed out, “even some protection is better than no protection.”

Still, other measures — like regular hand washing — are important, too. And everyone can help out by staying home when they are sick and not exposing others to their infection, Kwong advised.

Miller stressed that people at risk of heart attack should focus on all of their risk factors, during flu season and otherwise.

“Address all of the traditional risk factors you have — obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol,” he said. “Getting the flu shot is one additional intervention to take.”

The findings were published Jan. 25 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

More information

The American Heart Association has more on flu and pneumonia prevention.

© 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: January 2018

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles