Why Your Heart Loves the Flu Shot

Medical Syringe

Still on the fence about getting a flu shot this year? Well, if the sore throat, fever, runny nose and chills aren’t enough to convince you, this might. Getting the flu vaccine may also protect your ticker.

An analysis of studies involving nearly 7,000 people found that participants who got the flu shot were 36% less likely to have a heart event, such as a heart attack or hospitalization, compared to those who didn’t get the vaccine. In those with a history of heart disease, the risk was 55% lower. And the risk of dying from heart disease was reduced 20%.

How the vaccine likely protects your heart

When you come down with the flu, you typically feel aches and pains. These discomforts are actually caused by inflammation as your body fights the flu. The researchers believe that inflammation can trigger plaques in the arteries to erupt, leading to a heart attack or another event. By preventing the flu, the vaccine protects you from that harmful inflammation.  

Already got your shot? There are plenty of other surprising ways to lower your risk of heart disease:

  • Safeguard your smile. Research suggests there’s a link between flossing and heart disease.
  • Try turmeric. This Indian spice has been shown to help prevent arterial plaques from gaining a foothold in blood vessels.
  • Use your vacation days. Research shows that regular getaways may prevent heart disease.
  • Choose chocolate. Flavonoids found in dark chocolate, the kind with the highest cocoa content, are thought to help protect against heart disease.

So head on over to your nearest pharmacy and get your flu shot today. Not only will it protect you from getting sick, your heart will love you for it.

More On

Broken heart syndrome is on the rise, particularly in older women

video

Broken heart syndrome is on the rise, particularly in older women
Broken heart syndrome is a condition that mimics a heart attack and can be life-threatening.
Cholesterol Treatments You Should Know About

article

Cholesterol Treatments You Should Know About
Find out about medications and lifestyle habits that can help lower your cholesterol for a healthier heart.
5 Unexpected Signs of Heart Failure

slideshow

5 Unexpected Signs of Heart Failure
These could be clues that your heart isn’t pumping efficiently.
Processed and red meat linked to heart disease, study finds

video

Processed and red meat linked to heart disease, study finds
The study analyzed data on over 1.4 million people who were followed for 30 years. Watch this video to learn how these meats contribute to heart disea...
5 most common high blood pressure questions answered

video

5 most common high blood pressure questions answered
Learn about hypertension, what it is, methods to manage it, what to avoid, blood vessel damage, and how to control your blood pressure.