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Study: Flu increases heart attack risk

Posted at 1:26 PM, Jan 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-29 13:26:11-05

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- A new study shows people who have the flu or are recovering from it are at an increased risk for heart attack. 

In fact, they're six times more likely to have a heart attack during the week after diagnosis compared to the year before the infection. 

Most of those people who had heart attacks with the flu were not vaccinated. For about three quarters of those people it was their first heart attack. 

Doctors have suspected this link since the 1930's.  “This is a group of patients who are 35 years old and higher, to no one's surprise, people who had a previous heart attack had a little higher attack rate and normal people did, too,” says cardiologist Dr. Richard Daum.

Now they're pushing for the elderly and those already at risk for heart disease to get a flu shot right away.