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Flu jab cuts CV risk and death in type 2 diabetes

An analysis of primary and secondary care data collected in England shows that influenza vaccination seems to cut mortality by almost a quarter and reduce cardiovascular admissions among people with type 2 diabetes.

The study analysed data collected between 2003/04 and 2009/10 from 124,503 adults with type 2 diabetes. People who received influenza vaccines were older and had more co-morbidities than non-recipients, which reflects current policy.

During the influenza seasons, compared to non-recipients and after adjusting for confounders, flu vaccination was associated with:
• A 30 per cent reduction in hospital admissions for stroke
• A 22 per cent reduction in admissions for heart failure
• A 15 per cent reduction in admissions for pneumonia or influenza.

Influenza vaccination was also associated with a 24 per cent reduction in all-cause mortality during the influenza seasons. A 19 per cent reduction in admissions for acute myocardial infarction was not statistically significant. Excluding the 2008/9 pandemic swine flu season did not markedly alter the results.

“These findings underline the importance of influenza vaccination as part of comprehensive secondary prevention in this high-risk population,” the authors comment.

CMAJ DOI:10.1503/cmaj.151059

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