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Flu Shots and Your Heart

If you have heart disease or have suffered a stroke, the flu can be serious. That's because you are more likely to develop flu-related complications. Getting a flu shot every year is the best way to protect yourself from the flu.

If you've ever had influenza—commonly known as the flu—you know it can hit fast and leave you feeling miserable, achy and barely able to get out of bed. For most of us, the flu is a big nuisance, making us miss work and put plans on hold.

But if you have heart disease or have suffered a stroke, the flu can be much more serious. That’s because you are more likely to develop flu-related complications, including sinus and ear infections, pneumonia, or heart attack. More rarely, you could also develop inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) or the protective sac around the heart (pericarditis).

In fact, many people with heart disease and other chronic health conditions die from the flu each year. Infections like the flu or pneumonia can place added strain on the heart and other organs. But getting vaccinated against the flu can prevent many of these deaths. 

Getting a flu shot every year is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu. It can help keep you from getting sick and suffering related complications. 

Did You Know? Compared with people who don’t have heart disease, those who do:
–Have a 10X higher risk of heart attack within 3 days of getting the flu
–Are more likely to have a heart attack even weeks after the flu
Source: National Foundation for Infection Diseases
  • Last Edited 10/16/2019