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Flu Shot Especially Important for People with Heart Disease

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Should you get a flu shot? Most medical experts will answer ‘yes’ to that question, while virtually all will insist anyone with a history of heart disease get the flu shot.

Research shows that death from influenza (or the flu) is far more common among people suffering from heart disease than people dealing with another type of chronic condition. The good news is that getting a flu shot can dramatically reduce the chances of catching the flu or developing complications from an influenza.

Those complications are very serious. Medical professionals point to pneumonia, respiratory failure, and heart attack. The problem is that a flu infection can cause dehydration, intensifying pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes or asthma. Overall, the flu can easily weaken a body’s immune system, making it more difficult to fight off a range of health issues.

Because the flu presents such enormous problems to those with heart disease, doctors also insist that anyone who lives or works with someone who has a heart condition also get the flu shot. In essence, lowering your own risk of getting influenza will help keep those around you safe and healthy.

Of course, it’s important that you alert your doctor if you’ve had a serious allergic reaction to the flu vaccine before or if you’re sick at the time you plan to get the flu shot.

If you’re uncomfortable around needles, consider asking your doctor about FluMist, the nasal spray flu vaccine. However, a physician may recommend against using FluMist in cases where a person has a history of heart disease, as the vaccine is made with live virus and can trigger flu-like symptoms in people with serious heart conditions.

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