Purpose of review
Influenza imparts a significant health burden on the United States and global population. Furthermore, influenza is associated with acute cardiovascular events, including heart failure exacerbations, acute coronary syndromes, strokes, and overall cardiovascular mortality. We review the role of seasonal influenza vaccination in mitigating cardiovascular risk.
A large study assessed the impact of influenza vaccine on cardiovascular outcomes and mortality using the US National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database. This study included 22 634 643 hospitalizations. Vaccination against influenza was associated with a reduction in myocardial infarctions (MI) [relative risk (RR) = 0.84, 95% CI 0.82–0.87, P < 0.001], transient ischemic attacks (RR = 0.93, 95% CI 0.9–0.96, P < 0.001), cardiac arrests (RR = 0.36, 95% CI 0.33–0.39, P < 0.001), strokes (RR = 0.94, 95% CI 0.91–0.97, P < 0.001), and overall mortality (RR = 0.38, 95% CI 0.36–0.4, P < 0.001).
Available data suggests that seasonal influenza vaccination is very effective in mitigating cardiovascular risk. Increasing the rates of influenza vaccination, especially among those with cardiovascular risk factors, is critical in preventing infection and attenuating influenza-related cardiovascular complications and adverse outcomes.