Thursday, September 24, 2009

Swine Flu Pandemic Heart Attack Health News Updates

Swine flu pandemic could trigger spate of heart attacks.

The swine flu pandemic could trigger a spate of heart attacks if rates of illness surge as predicted this autumn, doctors warned.

Patients with heart disease are being advised to accept a vaccine against H1N1 swine flu as it becomes available next month in order to reduce the risk of fatal complications.

An estimated 5,200 people in England went down with the virus in the week before last compared with about 3,000 the previous week, suggesting that a predicted second wave of illness may be on its way.

About 2.5 million people with heart disease, as well as patients with other chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes, will be offered a flu jab. Last year, however, uptake of an annual vaccine against seasonal flu strains among patients considered “at risk” was only 47.2 per cent, researchers writing in The Lancet Infectious Diseases medical journal said.

Andrew Hayward, an epidemiologist at University College London, and colleagues at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said that more efforts were needed to encourage people with heart disease and diabetes — which increases the risk of heart attacks — to have the flu jab. They reviewed 39 studies carried out between 1932 and 2008 and found that people with heart disease made up between 35 to 50 per cent of excess flu deaths.

All the population papers examined also showed a rise in deaths due to heart disease or incidence of heart attacks during times when the flu virus was circulating.

Flu can produce significant stress on the cardiovascular system and cause breathing problems, changes in blood pressure, a rapid heart rate and even direct effects on the heart.

The researchers wrote: “During influenza epidemics there are many deaths and serious complications in vulnerable populations. People with underlying chronic medical disorders such as cardiovascular disease are particularly at risk ... We believe influenza vaccination should be encouraged — especially in those people with existing cardiovascular disease.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts