A further study, published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, points to a link between influenza as a trigger of cardiovascular events, while presentations given in the past week in Toronto suggest that influenza vaccination might prevent such events.
Charlotte Warren-Gash and colleagues at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, have published a new study, “Influenza Infection and the Risk of Acute Myocardial Infarction in England and Wales: A CALIBER Self-Controlled Case Series Study”, which provides further evidence that influenza rather than other respiratory infections, trigger heart attacks. This is accompanied by an editorial in the same issue of the journal by Niroshan Siriwardena, “Increasing Evidence that Influenza is a Trigger for Cardiovascular Disease”.
More evidence on the potential for influenza vaccination to prevent cardiovascular events was widely reported after being presented in two separate studies at the 2012 Cardiovascular Congress in Toronto: in one study researchers found an association between influenza vaccination and reduction in risk of heart attack (acute myocardial infarction), stroke and cardiac death; in another study rates of implantable cardiac defibrillator therapy were reduced with vaccination.
The team at Lincoln are currently working on a large case-control study exploring the association between influenza vaccination and stroke or transient ischaemic attack (IPVASTIA).