A new study has discovered a link between patients with type 2 diabetes who received a flu shot and lower hospitalizations rates for pneumonia, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases, as well as higher death prevention rate than in diabetics who weren’t vaccinated for influenza.
The study was conducted by a team of researchers and doctors led by Dr. Eszter P. Vamos, from the Imperial College in London. The study was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on July 25.
It examines a number of 124, 500 patient cases with type 2 diabetes over the course of seven flu seasons, from 2003 to 2010. The study wasn’t initially designed to determine any connection between the flu shot in diabetics and reduced risk of death and hospitalizations.
Nonetheless, during the course of the analysis, it managed to observe a correlation between those factors. The researchers found that the flu shot for type 2 diabetics was associated with a 19 lower risk of having a heart attack, 30 percent lower hospital admissions for stroke, 22 percent for heart failure and 15 percent for pneumonia. The average death rate for diabetics who had the flu shot was 24 percent lower than those who weren’t vaccinated.
Until this study, the evidence of the benefits of the flu shot from small, less rigorous trials wasn’t compelling enough for patients with conditions such as type 2 diabetes to get their annual flu shot, although many countries recommend it.
The researchers consider that:
“These findings underline the importance of influenza vaccination as part of comprehensive secondary prevention in this high-risk population.”
The link discovered by the study was quickly embraced by other doctors such as Dr. Jacob A. Udell. He considers that since the flu shot doesn’t do any harm and has numerous potential benefits, it should be adopted as a standard measure in health care. Before the flu season begins, physicians should ask their patients if they have received a flu shot, and if not, they should offer it at their local sites.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information on type 2 diabetes and the flu.
Are you a type 2 diabetic? Were you aware of the possible benefits of the flu shot?
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