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Wellness Tip

Flu Shot Reduces A-Fib Risk

by Berkeley Wellness  

Here's still another reason to get the flu shot: It may help reduce the risk of developing atrial fibrillation (a-fib), a common type of heart rhythm abnormality that increases the risk of stroke.

In a recent study in the journal HeartRhythm, researchers in Taiwan compared 11,374 people (average age 71) with newly diagnosed with a-fib to 45,496 a comparable group without the condition, focusing on whether they had the flu during the past year and whether they had been vaccinated. Those who were not vaccinated and developed the flu had an 18 percent higher risk of a-fib than those who did not get the flu. The small number of people who developed the flu despite being vaccinated did not have an elevated risk of a-fib.

Even among people who did not get the flu, those who were vaccinated were at lower risk for a-fib than the non-vaccinated. In all groups analyzed, flu vaccination was associated with a modestly reduced risk of a-fib.

Also see Another Reason to Get the Flu Shot, about how the shot may also reduce the risk of heart attacks.