The Flu Shot

Dr. Jacob Udell, a cardiologist at Women's College Hospital and the  University of Toronto found that those who got a flu shot reduced their risk of heart attacks and other serious cardiovascular problems by nearly half during a one-year follow-up period.

He presented his findings yesterday at the 2012 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Toronto.

Udell and his team re-evaluated the results of four randomized trials that looked at how the influenza vaccine might help heart health. In all, the studies had more than 3,200 patients. The original studies were done from 1994 to 2008.

Some of the people in the trials were free of heart disease, while others either had stable cardiovascular disease or had recently had heart attacks or other coronary problems.

All groups were followed for median of a year. Those who got the flu vaccine had about a 50 percent reduction in heart attack, stroke or other major cardiovascular events.