Researchers from the University of Toronto, earlier this year, published a groundbreaking study that linked heart attacks and flu.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was conducted by Dr Geoffrey Kwong and his colleagues, about 20,000 people confirmed to get the flu.
The team found that the risk of myocardial infarction increases by 600% within one week of influenza infection, with the flu also increasing the risk of respiratory infections.
The researchers said that their discovery of the high risk of heart attack attacks presents a new challenge for them and healthcare professionals in managing heart disease patients.
The researchers noted that there is a simple solution that can protect the heart, which is the vaccine against the flu, which will give the vaccine "a dose of protective heart".
Similarly, researchers from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and Disease Examinations in Taiwan conducted a survey of medical records of 80,000 elderly patients over 13 years. The study found that annual vaccination against influenza reduced the risk of myocardial infarction by 20% and gave similar protection against stroke.
The influenza vaccine not only reduces the risk of myocardial infarction, but also protects patients already suffering from heart disease, according to a study by the George Institute of World Health at Oxford University by examining the health problems for 59,000 patients with heart failure.
The researchers found that 27% of patients receiving influenza vaccines were less prone to having heart failure complications.
Unlike most vaccines that target a type of infection, there are many strains or types of flu. Each year researchers predict a more common type and recommend annual vaccination against this specific strain. Uncertainty about the common type of flu means that the vaccine is not always very effective. On average, the effect of the annual influenza vaccine is between 50 and 70%.
Interestingly, although flu vaccines are not 100% effective against the virus, they still provide protection against heart disease.
The misleading media information about the flu vaccine causes more and more people to avoid the vaccine and constantly question its effectiveness and health value, Kwong and colleagues note.
As this is the flu season, it is useful to get the vaccine to maintain public health and heart health, according to Dr Kwong.