Getting an annual flu shot can help people with heart problems live longer, according to a new study.
Influenza is serious or even fatal in patients with heart failure as they already have poor circulation and infection can worsen the symptoms.
Heart and circulatory disease cause 160,000 deaths each year in the United Kingdom, but although the NHS recommends the introduction of influenza for people with heart problems, it is not known that it affects mortality.
Researchers analyzed the data from 134,048 patients with newly diagnosed heart failure over a 12-year period and found an annual stroke reducing the early death rate by 18 percent.
Influenza is less than once a year, but more than this is not associated with a 13 percent reduced risk of death from all causes and an 8 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular death.
It turned out that the benefits are greatest if people have vaccinated in September and October compared to November and December.
Researcher at the leading researcher, Dr. Daniel Modin, a researcher at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, said that while the study was aimed only at patients with newly diagnosed heart failure, protection would probably be beneficial to all patients with heart failure.
"Recent studies have shown that the range of vaccination against influenza in patients with heart failure is insufficient," said Dr. Modin.
"I hope our research can help doctors and cardiologists who care for patients with heart failure know how important influenza vaccination is for their patients." Influenza vaccination can be seen as a standard treatment for heart failure similar to medication.