Flu vaccine rate less than 25% in young adults with heart disease, despite increased risk

November 09, 2020

DALLAS, Nov. 9, 2020 -- Despite clear evidence of the health benefits, the vast majority of young adults with cardiovascular disease are not getting the recommended annual influenza vaccine, according to preliminary research to be presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2020. The meeting will be held virtually, Friday, November 13 - Tuesday, November 17, 2020, and is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science for health care worldwide.

For people with cardiovascular disease, getting the flu vaccine helps prevent the flu and its serious complications.

"Individuals with cardiovascular disease are more likely to have flu than among those without any chronic health conditions," said study lead author Tarang Parekh, M.B.B.S, M.S., Ph.D. candidate and assistant researcher at George Mason University College of Health and Human Services in Fairfax, Virginia. "Having a flu infection can exacerbate cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke and can also lead to secondary infections such as pneumonia. You are putting yourself at increased risk when you don't get the flu vaccine."

For the study, researchers analyzed information on flu vaccination and cardiovascular disease from the 2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. For the survey, participants were asked whether they had a flu shot within the past 12 months and have a history of heart attack, angina (chest pain), congestive heart failure or stroke.

Using data from more than 100,000 adults, ages 18 to 44 years old, researchers categorized participants into two groups: 18- to 34-year-olds and 35- to 44-year-olds. The analysis looked at the vaccination rates between the two groups, focusing on those who had any cardiovascular disease.

The study revealed that:"If we look at our Healthy People 2020 goals, one major goal is to reach 70% of the population receiving the annual flu vaccine. However, we are not even at the halfway mark, especially when you consider that the vaccine rate among those with cardiovascular disease is significantly lower," Parekh said. "It's essential that young adults with cardiovascular disease receive the flu vaccine. We need to place greater focus on patients who are not being vaccinated and push a targeted intervention to close that gap."

The authors hope their study will increase awareness among cardiologists and the public. "The next step would be for the cardiovascular community to routinely recommend the flu vaccine to their patients. Putting the current recommendations into action has the potential to prevent serious heart complications and save lives," he said.

According to the American Heart Association's Chief Medical Officer for Prevention Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H., FAAFP, this study provides additional merit for the American Heart Association's ongoing collaboration with American Lung Association and the American Diabetes Association:

"We have partnered with the American Lung Association and the American Diabetes Association to collectively deliver a message to physicians and other health care professionals and to the general public that all adults and all children, by and large, should be getting influenza vaccinations year after year. In particular, for patients who have chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes or emphysema, it is critically important to get the annual flu vaccine. The potentially serious complications of the flu are far, far greater for those with chronic diseases," said Sanchez.
Co-authors are Smit Patel, M.B.B.S, and Phani Harshitha Yarlagadda, M.B.B.S. Author disclosures are in the abstract. This study received no funding from external sources.

This abstract will be presented in Environmental Influences and Temporal Trends of Cardiovascular Diseases virtual.

Additional Resources:

Multimedia, including a video perspective interview with American Heart Association volunteer expert, Orly Vardeny, Pharm.D., M.S., may be downloaded from the right column of the release link https://newsroom.heart.org/news/flu-vaccine-rate-less-than-25-in-young-adults-with-heart-disease-despite-increased-risk?preview=976db3542dc1cf4932af2a454ad2c552

View this release in Spanish.
Flu vaccine could protect against serious heart and stroke complications
Regular flu shots may save heart failure patients' lives
Nation's Top Health Organizations Band Together to Urge Patients to Get Flu Vaccinations to Prevent Serious Health Risks
Here's what doctors know about immunizations right now: You still need them
Encuentre más historias en español de AHA News aquí.

For more news at AHA Scientific Sessions 2020, follow us on @HeartNews #AHA20.

Statements and conclusions of studies that are presented at the American Heart Association's scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the Association's policy or position. The Association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The Association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific Association programs and events. The Association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and biotech companies, device manufacturers and health insurance providers are available here, and the Association's overall financial information is available here.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

American Heart Association

Related Science Articles from Brightsurf:

75 science societies urge the education department to base Title IX sexual harassment regulations on evidence and science
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today led 75 scientific societies in submitting comments on the US Department of Education's proposed changes to Title IX regulations.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science.

Applied science may yield more translational research publications than basic science
While translational research can happen at any stage of the research process, a recent investigation of behavioral and social science research awards granted by the NIH between 2008 and 2014 revealed that applied science yielded a higher volume of translational research publications than basic science, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xueying Han from the Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA, and colleagues.

Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.

World Science Forum 2017 Jordan issues Science for Peace Declaration
On behalf of the coordinating organizations responsible for delivering the World Science Forum Jordan, the concluding Science for Peace Declaration issued at the Dead Sea represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.

PETA science group promotes animal-free science at society of toxicology conference
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science and Public Engagement
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, pharma, and biopharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Three natural science professors win TJ Park Science Fellowship
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.

Read More: Science News and Science Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.