Mayo Clinic: I had some heart trouble earlier this year and
have not yet gotten a flu shot. Is it safe for someone like
me, who has heart issues, to get the vaccine?
almost all cases, the answer is yes. Unless you have a
specific reason for not getting a flu (influenza) shot ó
such as an allergy ó the flu shot is very safe, even if you
have heart disease.
heart disease increases the risk of complications if you get
influenza, and, so, in your case, the flu vaccine would be
strongly recommended. Influenza, or the flu, is a known risk
factor for cardiovascular events such as heart attack and
stroke, which sometimes can cause death. The flu also can
worsen heart failure or other conditions that can stress the
cardiovascular system, such as diabetes or asthma.
not entirely clear how the flu triggers cardiovascular
problems. It may make artery-clogging plaques more unstable
and vulnerable to rupture. It may lower oxygen levels and make
the heart work harder. It may directly injure heart cells. Or
it may simply put too much stress on a more frail body.
shot reduces the risk of getting the flu. Even if you get the
flu after receiving a flu shot, youíll probably have a less
severe case of the flu.
review of research suggests that getting the flu vaccine may
reduce the risk of a heart attack. The review found that older
adults who got the flu vaccine reduced their risk of heart
attack over the next eight months by about 36 percent. Among
older adults with pre-existing heart disease, getting a flu
shot reduced heart attack risk by over half.