According to a study published online in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, getting the flu shot each year may lower your risk of stroke. “Studies have shown that having the flu increases the risk of stroke, but there is still research into whether getting the flu vaccine can help prevent stroke,” Madrid, Spain. at the University of Alcala. “This observational study suggests that people who have been vaccinated against influenza have a lower risk of stroke. needs further research.”
The study looked at ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke caused by blockage of blood flow to the brain. For this study, researchers consulted a Spanish medical database to identify people who were at least 40 years old and had their first stroke in 14 years. Each one of hers who had a stroke was compared to five of hers of the same age and sex. Among those who had a stroke he had 14,322 and those without a stroke he had 71,610.
The researchers then looked at whether people had received the flu vaccine at least 14 days before their stroke, or before the same date for those who hadn’t had a stroke. A total of 41.4% of those who had a stroke had been vaccinated against influenza, compared to 40.5% of those who had never had a stroke. But those who received the injection were more likely to be older and to have other conditions that made them more susceptible to stroke, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Those who did were found to be 12% less likely to have a stroke than those who did not.
The researchers also looked to see if the pneumonia vaccine had any effect on stroke risk, but found no protective effect. “It’s another reason to get vaccinated against cancer,” de Abajo said.
Because this study was observational, it does not prove that getting the flu vaccine reduces the risk of stroke. Show associations only. There may be other unmeasured factors that may influence stroke risk. (Ani)
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