Flu vaccination is associated with a 36% lower risk of cardiovascular events in patients with CHD, suggests a meta-analysis published today in JAMA.
The risk reduction rises to 55% in patients with a recent acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
The US researchers used data from six randomised, controlled clinical trials that included 6735 patients with either recent ACS or stable coronary disease.
Overall, major cardiovascular events, defined as a composite of cardiovascular death, hospitalisation for MI, unstable angina, stroke, heart failure, or urgent revascularization, occurred in 2.9% of the 3238 patients treated with the vaccine and 4.7% of the 3231 patients treated with placebo/control (36% relative risk reduction). This translated into a number needed to treat of 58 to prevent one event.
In the 789 ACS patients, major cardiovascular events occurred in 10.25% of patients treated with the vaccine and 23.1% of those treated with placebo- a 55% relative risk reduction.