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The risk of atherothrombotic events in patients aged 50 and older care more than double in the 14 days following an influenza diagnosis, according to research presented in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. For those with severe cases, the risk of acute myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke increased more than 4-fold and remained high for 2 months following the flu event. Authors examined the link between influenza illness diagnosed in the primary care and hospital settings and 90-day risk of heart attack and ischemic stroke in nearly 2.2 million subjects from January 2011 to December 2018.   

Flu can trigger cardiovascular disease: An analysis in CIDRAP notes that the study’s case series provides growing evidence that influenza can trigger or exacerbate cardiovascular diseases in people over age 50. Through February 5, 2024, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 11,073 Americans were hospitalized in the previous week due to influenza, which is a 5% decrease over the prior week, following a consistent downward trend in flu hospitalizations.

Flu Can Increase Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke in Older Patients