The Flu Vaccine: Benefits for Type 2 Diabetics

Flu season might be a few months away, but that hasn't stopped a team of researchers from discovering some added benefits the flu vaccine holds for people with type 2 diabetes.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal recently published a study, which concluded that the flu vaccine reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease for folks with type 2.

The Study

For this study, researchers at the Imperial College London studied 124,503 patients with type 2 diabetes over the course of seven years. Even after adjusting for external factors such as sex, age, smoking, body mass index, hypertension, medications and other health and behavioral factors, the team's findings presented a clear connection between the flu vaccine and better health.

According to the study, patients with type 2 diabetes who get the flu vaccine have a 19 percent reduced risk of hospitalization due to heart attack. Their risk of hospitalization for stroke was reduced by 30 percent. The vaccine also showed a 22 percent decrease of risk for heart failure and 15 percent decrease for pneumonia or influenza. Over the seven years, researchers determined that the flu vaccine reduced a patient's risk of death overall by 24 percent.

Hopes for Better Health

Findings like these can be critical for people with conditions such as type 2 diabetes. As lead author Dr. Eszter P Vamos pointed out, “Most flu deaths every year occur in people with pre-existing health conditions such as type 2 diabetes.”

Vamos said in an interview that she hopes the study pushes more people toward the vaccine this coming flu season. “The flu vaccine is largely underused among people with chronic illnesses,” she said. “It’s really important that people with diabetes receive their annual flu vaccine.”

And if you are one of those people who simply can't stand another shot, don't fret; there are plenty of other ways to get your flu vaccine this year.

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