Is a Flu Shot Really Necessary?

A Question from the Heart … By Interventional Cardiologist Behzad Molavi, M.D.

Fall is in full swing and is a reminder that flu season is quickly approaching. There are flu vaccination clinics now sprouting like mushrooms after spring storms. Many wonder if they need flu a shot at all. Protecting yourself from the flu is especially important for patients with heart problems. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) strongly recommend flu vaccines for all adults with heart problems; in fact ‘with the same enthusiasm as cholesterol and blood-pressure control.’

This recommendation stems from several recent studies indicating that flu vaccinations significantly reduce mortality in cardiac patients. Some of the benefits of flu vaccination may be directly due to lower rates of overwhelming lung infections in cardiac patients with congested lungs due to heart failure.

However, let’s not forget that some heart attacks are triggered and occur during cold and flu infections. Fortunately, flu vaccines are readily available. You can find them locally in most grocery pharmacies and through your family physician. Protecting yourself from the flu is necessary and is also a good addition to the arsenal of medications and healthy lifestyle in the fight against heart disease.

To find a flu clinic in your area, visit Dr. Molavi is the area’s only Interventional Cardiologist and Peripheral Vascular Disease Specialist. He works in the office of High Plains Heart & Vascular Center in Brighton at Platte Valley Medical Center. For more information or to schedule an in-office consultation, call (303) 659-7000. High Plains Heart & Vascular Center is located at 1600 Prairie Center Parkway, Suite 370, in Brighton.

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