Can the flu shot make your blood pressure high?
Can flu jab increase blood pressure? There is no evidence that the influenza vaccination increases blood pressure, however for people who have hypertension or underlying cardiac conditions, getting the flu can elevate the risk of significant health issues.
Influenza (commonly referred to as flu) is an infectious illness caused by the influenza virus. Each season, many people are affected by flu that spreads through the air. Vaccination is available for flu, and it continues to be the best way of preventing its incidence.1
Recent studies have shown that taking a flu shot can reduce cardiac events in people with hypertension.2
Taking flu shots also reduces the risk of a stroke.3
This article will be focusing on how people taking flu shots may be at a reduced risk of death related to hypertension.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
Flu may cause mild illness; however, it may sometimes become severe and even lead to death.1
Some of the symptoms of flu are:1
- Chills and fever
- Cough and cold
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Soreness in the throat
- Muscle pain
- In some cases, diarrheas' and vomiting
The strains of flu virus undergo a constant change; hence, it is advisable to get a flu shot every year as a new vaccine is developed every year.4
What is the association between flu and heart disease?
Evidence points to the fact that of the people hospitalized for flu in a particular year, almost half had heart problems and that flu is likely to be associated with the risk of heart attacks and stroke or other conditions such as hypertensive heart disease (a condition caused by high blood pressure), heart failure and arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat).5
Studies have also shown that influenza-like illnesses are associated with fatal and non-fatal heart-related events.6
Although the reasons for the association between influenza and heart-related events are not completely clear, scientists have put forth the following reasons after extensive research:6
- Rupture of a plaque that accumulates in the arteries of the heart
- Heart failure due to fluid overload
- Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscles)
- Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats)
Evidence points out that the stress encountered by the heart due to influenza can trigger heart attacks and strokes.2
How are flu shots associated with lowering the risk of death due to hypertension?
Patients who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or hypertension are at a greater risk of heart diseases such as heart attack and stroke.2
In clinical trials conducted on people with heart diseases, those who took flu shots demonstrated less cardiovascular events within one year after the administration of flu shots as compared to those who were treated with a placebo.6
According to the trial, flu shots were associated with reducing cardiovascular events.6
Some studies conducted on animals have demonstrated that the immune response to the vaccination has a stabilizing effect on the plaque, thereby avoiding its rupture and subsequent stroke.7
Researchers noted that people who took a flu vaccine were 16% less likely to die from a cardiovascular problem and 10% less likely to die from stroke or heart attack.8
Evidence gathered from research studies demonstrates that the inflammation caused by flu can cause a heart attack or stroke, especially in people with high blood pressure. Recent studies have proven that the administration of flu shots every year may lower the number of deaths by preventing a cardiac event such as a stroke or heart attack.2,8
Your health is in your hands! Get a flu shot every year; protect yourself from flu and help protect your heart from heart-related risks as well.