Archive for October, 2013

Another Benefit of Flu Vaccination

Thursday, October 24, 2013 // Uncategorized


Flu Vaccination Is Associated with Lower Risk for Adverse Cardiovascular Events

Thomas L. Schwenk, MD reviewing

Many observational, epidemiological, and small randomized trials suggest an inverse relation between influenza vaccination and adverse cardiovascular events. Researchers identified five higher-quality published randomized controlled trials and one unpublished trial (total, 6700 participants; mean age, 67) to assess this association. During 1 year of follow-up, risk for major adverse cardiovascular events was significantly lower in participants who received influenza vaccinations (intramuscular or intranasal) than in those who did not (2.9% vs. 4.7%); 58 patients would need to be vaccinated to prevent 1 event. Among a subgroup of patients with recent acute coronary syndromes, risk was 10% in vaccine recipients and 23% in unvaccinated participants; 8 patients would need to be vaccinated to prevent 1 event.

Comment       We can add prevention of cardiovascular events to the list of documented and presumed benefits of influenza vaccination. Although an editorialist finds the 13 percentage-point benefit in patients with recent acute coronary syndrome to be implausible, she notes the relatively low vaccination rates in older and high-risk patients and exhorts all clinicians to contribute to achieving 100% participation for this coming influenza season.     Editor Disclosures at Time of Publication     Disclosures for Thomas L. Schwenk, MD at time of publication                 Editorial boards UpToDate       CLOSECitation(s):   Udell JA et al. Association between influenza vaccination and cardiovascular outcomes in high-risk patients: A meta-analysis. JAMA 2013 Oct 23; 310:1711. (   Neuzil KM. Influenza vaccination in 2013–2014: Achieving 100% participation. JAMA 2013 Oct 23; 310:1681. (  – See more at:

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