Influenza vaccination is associated with reduced mortality in patients with heart failure, according to an observational study in Circulation.
Using Danish health records, researchers identified nearly 135,000 patients diagnosed with heart failure between 2003 and 2015. Annual flu vaccination rates over the study period ranged from 16% to 54%. During roughly 3.5 years' follow-up, 58% of the cohort died; one-third of all deaths were due to cardiovascular causes.
After multivariable adjustment, patients who received at least one flu shot during the study period were 18% less likely to die—and 18% less likely to die from CV causes—than those
who received no flu shots. Benefits increased with the number of vaccinations. Additionally, getting vaccinated in September or October seemed more protective than doing so in November or December.
The researchers conclude, "Influenza vaccination should be considered as a potential treatment strategy comparable to other medical treatments such as beta-blockers and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, to improve survival in heart failure."
By Amy Orciari Herman, www.JWatch.org
Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and André Sofair, MD, MPH
Circulation article (Free abstract)
Background: NEJM Journal Watch Infectious Diseases coverage of flu as risk factor for myocardial infarction (Your NEJM Journal Watch registration required)