A flu shot may reduce the risk of stroke, study finds

According to a new observational study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Neurology, there may be an important benefit to getting a flu shot that goes beyond protection against viruses.

Research found that people who got the flu shot were less likely to have a stroke. Specifically, the study focused on ischemic stroke, which “accounts for about 87 percent of all strokes,” according to the American Heart Association, and occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked.

The 14-year study took place in Spain and followed 14,322 people who suffered a stroke. Each person was compared to five people of the same age and sex who had never had a stroke. All study subjects were between 40 and 99 years old.

The researchers compared the date of the stroke with the date of the flu shot to see if the participants had been vaccinated at least 14 days before the stroke. They also looked at this time period in people who did not have a stroke.

About 41.4% of people who had a stroke during the study time period got a flu shot compared to 40.5% of people who didn’t have a stroke. Despite this, after adjusting for issues such as vascular conditions (people in the vaccinated group tend to have more stroke risk factors such as high blood pressure or cholesterol), those who got an annual flu shot were found to be 12% less likely to have a stroke than those who did not receive the vaccine.

Your flu shot may be protecting you from more than just the flu.

Experts aren’t entirely sure why the flu shot might reduce the risk of stroke.

The exact reasoning behind this positive result is unclear right now, but researchers have a few theories. The study’s author, Dr. Francisco José de Abajo, told Medical News Today that “at this stage, we can only speculate about the mechanisms, but there are several pieces of evidence from previous studies … that suggest that the flu vaccination can reduce inflammatory mediators.”

And according to the American Heart Association, “systemic markers of inflammation have been shown to be markers of stroke risk.” Therefore, the reduction in inflammation could be the reason for this decreased risk of stroke in the study participants.

Also, not all vaccines reduce the risk of stroke: The pneumonia vaccine did not have the same effect, the researchers found, leading them to believe there is a connection between the flu shot and a lower stroke risk.

That said, the new study has some limitations. It was observational and did not examine other factors, such as diet and exercise in the study subjects’ daily lives. Physical fitness, a nutritious diet, and a healthy weight help reduce the risk of stroke. People most likely to receive a vaccine may also be implementing good health practices in other areas.

Either way, it’s important to get a flu shot.

The flu shot is an important way to protect yourself and protect yourself from getting the virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza kills tens of thousands of people each year and infects more than 9,000,000 people each year.

While many people can fight off the virus, it’s a very risky disease for the elderly, young children and people with conditions such as asthma and COPD, Dr. Bert E. Johansson, a vaccine expert at the National Hispanic Medical Association. HuffPost.

By getting a flu shot, you reduce your risk of getting the virus, protect your loved ones, and possibly even reduce your risk of stroke.

“These results are one more reason for people to get an annual flu shot, especially if they are at increased risk of stroke,” de Abajo said in a statement. “To be able to reduce the risk of stroke by taking such a simple action is very compelling.”

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