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24-07-2020 | Diabetes | News | Article

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Flu vaccination linked to lower cardiovascular risk in diabetes

Eleanor McDermid

medwireNews: People with diabetes who get their influenza vaccine are significantly less likely to have a fatal cardiovascular event or die from any cause than those who do not, shows a nationwide Danish study.

Daniel Modin (University of Copenhagen) and co-researchers note that “the abrupt inflammatory response associated with acute infection may trigger ischemic events such as acute myocardial infarction or stroke,” and that people with diabetes already have an increased cardiovascular risk.

Their study findings suggest that getting vaccinated against influenza may help to mitigate this excess risk. People with diabetes who were vaccinated for influenza had significant risk reductions of 16% for cardiovascular death, 15% for fatal stroke or myocardial infarction, and 17% for all-cause mortality relative to those who did not. These associations were independent of age, sex, income and education, comorbidities, and medications, and whether the person had been vaccinated in the previous influenza season.

The data came from 241,551 people, aged an average of 58.7 years, who used any glucose-lowering medication (including insulin) during the influenza seasons between 2007 and 2016. All people with diabetes in Denmark are offered influenza vaccination free of charge, and approximately half took this up in at least one season, with vaccine coverage averaging 33% across the seasons.

“[O]ur study significantly adds to the growing body of evidence indicating beneficial effects of influenza vaccination in patients with diabetes,” concludes the team in Diabetes Care.

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2020 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature Group

Diabetes Care 2020; doi:10.2337/dc20-0229

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