Getting a flu shot cuts the risk of having a heart attack or stroke by more than 50% in people who have had a heart attack, a new study shows.
"We may have identified that the flu vaccine may also be a vaccine against heart attacks," says lead author Jacob Udell, a cardiologist at Women's College Hospital and a scientist at the University of Toronto.
Udell and colleagues analyzed six studies on the heart health of more than 6,700 men and women, average age 67. Half got a flu vaccine; half got a placebo shot or nothing. About a third had heart disease and the rest had risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking.