Research shows reduced hospitalisations for heart failure patients with annual flu vaccination
“Patients with heart failure have a substantially increased risk of admission to hospital, and a proportion of these admissions are thought to be related to influenza (flu) infection, or at least triggered by an influenza infection.”
Whether the flu vaccination can reduce this number is unknown. A recent study at The George Institute UK studied the effects of the annual influenza vaccination on a large group of heart failure patients, specifically in terms of the frequencies and causes of hospitalisation.
They identified 60,000 HF patients in the UK, using routine electronic health data, and compared their records for a year when they received the annual vaccination to one where the patient did not receive the annual vaccination. They found that in the year where the patient did receive the flu vaccination that hospitalisation due to cardiovascular causes was reduced by about a third, and that the risk due of hospitalisation due to respiratory infections was reduced by about 20%.
In addition to these results, they also found that of the people living with heart failure in the UK, only half were receiving the annual flu vaccination, suggesting a big gap between what could be done and what is being practised.
In this video, Professor Kazem Rahimi, Deputy Director of The George Institute discusses a study in the UK regarding the impact of influenza vaccination for patients with heart failure.