by

Charles A. Bertrand, M.D., FACP, DIM-CD (Ret.)
Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at New York Medical College
and at the Medical University of South Carolina

INFLUENZA VACCINATION AND REDUCTION FOR CARDIAC DISEASE AND STROKE AMONG THE ELDERLY

This multi-authored study is from the Veterans Administration and the University of Minnesota and was published in the New England Journal of Medicine vol 348;14, page 1332.

The title is pretty much self-explanatory. The subjects were studied during two different influenza seasons — 1998-99 and 1999-2000. The numbers are impressive; in the first time period there were 140,000 and 146,000 in the second period. 55% and 60% in each group were vaccinated. The study results then compared those vaccinated with those who were not vaccinated.

In essence, the frequency of heart attacks and strokes were reduced by about 20% to 30% in those who were vaccinated. Even more impressive was the reduction in deaths by about 48 to 50% (all cause mortality) in those vaccinated.

In conclusion, it is worthwhile for elderly (here defined as age 65 and above)to be vaccinated. .... so think about it when the flu season arrives this fall.

For proper medical attention see your doctor on a regular basis. The above represents a general medical discussion.



The advice provided on this website is intended to be general in nature and should not be relied upon for specific treatment. If you need personal medical attention please contact your physician.


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