Many healthcare professionals suggest that their elderly patients get flu shots to protect against the yearly influx of the common virus. However, SeniorJournal.com reports that results of a new study indicates that the vaccination may reduce the risk of suffering a first heart attack as well.
The research, which was conducted by scientists from the United Kingdom, focused on 78,706 subjects over the age of 40 at nearly 400 local medical practices.
According to the news source, around 16,000 of those had heart attacks - half of which had been vaccinated.
In addition, the results suggest that getting a flu shot early, between September and November, yielded a 21 percent reduction, which is higher than the 12 percent reduction discovered from regular vaccination.
"Our findings reinforce current recommendations for annual influenza vaccination of target groups, with a potential added benefit for prevention of acute myocardial infarction in those without established cardiovascular disease," Dr Niroshan Siriwardena wrote about the study.
Those providing eldercare may want to consider ensuring their loved one gets a flu shot. The World Health Organization reports that the elderly are especially vulnerable to the sickness, and the shot reduces severe illness and complications in older adults by 60 percent.