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Despite Serious Health Risks, One in Three Adults with Heart Disease Does Not Believe They Need a Flu Shot This Year
Date:11/1/2007

e CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), recommend people at high-risk for serious flu-related complications, including people who suffer from heart disease, get vaccinated to protect against the flu every year. The AHA and ACC recognize the value of flu shots as part of complete care for patients with heart disease and have issued an advisory urging all cardiologists to make flu shots available in their clinics as well as to strongly encourage their patients to get the flu shot.

"It is startling that only one in three adults with heart disease are taking a simple precaution to help prevent the flu," said Clyde W. Yancy, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A., F.A.C.P. "For those people over 65 years of age living with heart disease, flu shots can reduce hospitalization length, medical costs and work absenteeism, making them a simple and cost-saving treatment option. An ounce of prevention goes a long way -- it is as simple as that."

The target goal set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is to vaccinate 60 percent of people with heart disease under age 65, and 90 percent of everyone 65 and over, many of whom have heart disease. Studies have found that annual flu vaccinations can prevent death in patients with chronic heart conditions. According to AHA and ACC recommendations, patients with

heart disease are advised against receiving the live, attenuated vaccine, which is administered as a nasal-spray.

About Flu

The flu is easily passed from one person to another through the air by droplets released when an infected individual coughs or sneezes, but may also be spread by direct contact with influenza virus-contaminated surfaces. The flu is a highly contagious and potentially deadly infection that affects up to 20 percent of the total U.S. population each flu season. In past years, flu has caused about 36,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations annually. Most of these deaths occur in people 65 years of age
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SOURCE Mended Hearts
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