Flu Vaccination and Dementia
The risk for dementia was lowered by half in heart failure patients who were vaccinated for flu greater than three times.
Influenza vaccination is associated with a lower risk of dementia in patients with heart failure, in line with a new study involving more than 20,000 patients.
Influenza vaccination is associated with a lower risk for dementia in sufferers with coronary heart failure, as shown by a study involving 20,000 sufferers presented at the Third World Congress on Acute Heart Failure. The findings of the study were presented by Dr Ju-Chi Liu, director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Taipei Medical University — Shuang Ho Hospital, in New Taipei City, Taiwan. According to him “Previous studies have shown that there is link between impairment in cognitive function and heart failure. Some reports have also suggested that inflammation after getting the flu might contribute to dementia. However, there are no solid data to demonstrate that influenza vaccination could decrease the relative risk of dementia in patients with heart failure.”
The Benefits of Flu Vaccination
The present study investigated whether or not coronary heart failure sufferers who had acquired the flu vaccine had a decreased risk of dementia. The study involved all sufferers over 60 years of age who visited healthcare amenities in Taiwan with a diagnosis of coronary heart failure for the duration of 2000 to 2012. Individuals who had dementia prior to being identified with heart failure have been excluded from the study. Sufferers were recruited from the National Health Insurance Research Dataset, which holds information on 98% of Taiwan residents.
The study monitored 20, 509 patients with heart failure. Of these, 10,797 acquired as a minimum one vaccination against influenza and the other 9712 were not vaccinated during the 12 year follow-up period.
After adjusting for reasons that would have an effect on the association, the investigators have found out that heart failure sufferers who had received the flu vaccine have been 35% much less likely to have dementia than those who had not been vaccinated. Folks that had been vaccinated more than 3 times had a 55% lower dementia hazard. According to Dr. Liu, “We think that the flu virus can activate the immune response and cause inflammation which may injure the brain cells. Respiratory infection during flu can induce changes in blood pressure and heart rate, referred to as an unstable haemodynamic status, which may also harm the brain tissue.”
He further added, “These effects of the flu could play a role in the development of dementia, particularly in heart failure patients who already have impaired circulation in the brain. Vaccination reduces the chance of getting the flu, which means that the associated immune activation, inflammation and unstable haemodynamic status do not occur. This could explain the reduced risk of developing dementia. The more vaccinations patients received, the less chance they had of getting the flu, which might be why they had an even lower risk of dementia.”
Once they examined the association by age, the researchers found that vaccinated heart failure sufferers had a 44% lower risk of dementia if they have been over 70 years and a 26% decrease in risk if they are between 60 and 69 years old. Vaccinated male coronary heart failure patients had a 40% lower of dementia while vaccinated female coronary heart failure sufferers had a 31% lower risk for dementia.
Dr. Liu remarked, “Our findings indicate that influenza vaccination plays an important role in patients with heart failure,” continued Dr Liu. “The flu shot not only decreases the risk of respiratory infection and death from pneumonia, but may also decrease the risk of dementia in future.”
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