A meta-analysis published in JAMA that included 5 published and 1 unpublished clinical trial including 6735 patients compared the effects of receiving an influenza vaccine or placebo on cardiovascular events. Patients were generally in their late 60s and one-third had history of heart problems. Pooled results revealed a statistically significant reduced risk of composite cardiovascular events with the use of the vaccine, but greatest risk reduction was seen in patients with more active coronary artery disease. Researchers advise to remember that while the influenza vaccine will not prevent heart problems, this is strong evidence supporting that all patients with history of heart disease be vaccinated. How will this new data support your recommendation to patients about getting the flu shot this season?
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