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 only a nuisance. It might make us miss a few days of work and put plans on hold.
But if you have heart disease or have suffered a stroke, getting 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 a heart attack. In rare cases, you could 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.
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, suffering from complications, or even dying from the flu. Use this resource to learn more about flu shots and your heart health.