Flu increases risk of heart attack sixfold
Flu can increase the risk of having a heart attack by six times, research has shown.
The study provides strong evidence of a link between influenza and heart attacks.
The findings, published in the 'New England Journal of Medicine', reinforced the need for people at risk of heart attacks to have flu jabs.
The Canadian team looked at nearly 20,000 cases of laboratory-confirmed infection from 2009 to 2014. Of these patients, 332 were hospitalised for a heart attack within one year of an influenza diagnosis which had been confirmed by a laboratory.
The results showed that for seven days after flu was detected, there was a sixfold increase in the chances of patients suffering heart attacks.
The risk may be higher for older adults, patients with influenza B infections, and those experiencing their first heart attack, said the researchers.