A new study revealed that the risk of heart attacks increases rapidly after contracting an influenza-like illness, while the risk of stroke increases more slowly, according to Russia Today.
The study, published October 8 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, elucidated the relationship between influenza, heart attacks, and strokes, all of which occur more frequently during the winter months..
The researchers focused on adults who had been hospitalized or came to the emergency department because of a stroke, heart attack, or “flu-like illness” by looking at New York State public health data from 2004 to 2015.
Influenza-like illnesses are also known as “acute respiratory infections”” (acute respiratory infection (ARI). Influenza-like syndrome is a diagnosis of a possible influenza or any other illness that may cause a group of flu-like symptoms. In this context, acute respiratory infection is often referred to as influenza-like symptoms.
Study author Amelia Bohme said identifying people with influenza from administrative records is difficult. Instead, her study relied on an algorithm developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify flu and flu-like symptoms through billing codes..
The study showed that strokes and heart attacks increase during times of high rates of influenza-like illnesses, with only a “time delay” for strokes..
“We found that if someone had a heart attack, it would occur within seven days of the influenza-like illness, during the acute phase,” said Boehme, assistant professor of epidemiology in the department of neuroscience at Columbia University in New York City. “And with stroke, we see an increased risk after seven. Up to 15 days, similar to a heart attack, but with a stroke, there is an additional, higher risk period after 30 days“.
And it called for more research to help uncover why influenza and influenza-like illnesses increase the risk of stroke and heart attack..
“Our study is just a small piece of the cake in understanding this. It raises a lot of questions about the mechanisms,” Bohemi added.“.
The researchers did not have information about whether the people in the study received the flu vaccine. But they found that “in years when the effectiveness of the vaccine was generally higher, the number of people who had influenza-like illnesses and the number who subsequently had strokes and heart attacks after an influenza-like illness were lower.”“.
Previous studies have shown that those who skip the flu shot are six times more likely to have a heart attack.
Dr Daniel Munoz, who was not involved in the study, described the results as important, to shed light on a possible link. “And the flu might be what drives people to a heart attack or stroke,” he said“.
Munoz, associate professor of cardiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, added that the study also “reinforces the importance of broadening our perspective to other things outside of the traditional cardiovascular risk factors that may put our patients at risk.”“.
As hundreds of thousands of people in the United States continue to be tested for “Covid-19” every month, public health officials have warned of a possible “double epidemic” of severe influenza and “Covid-19” in the cold months..
Munoz continued: “This study, along with current events, is a call to obtain the influenza vaccine … Getting the flu vaccine was not more important than it is in 2020.”
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