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"Flu shot could reduce heart attack risk, study suggests"

Globe and Mail

Source: Globe and Mail

Published: 20 Sep 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (2½ stars)

Keywords: flu shot virus flu vaccination cardiovascular deaths heart attack flu season

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

Getting a seasonal flu vaccine might do a lot more than just prevent you from being walloped by the virus this year. It might also protect your heart, according to a new study out of the United Kingdom.

"Flu vaccination could be associated with a reduction in the risk of heart attack," researcher Niroshan Siriwardena of the University of Lincoln, U.K., said in an e-mail interview...

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 4 of 9
Availability of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Applicable
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

While this story had some positive elements, its most prominent downfall was its quantification of the treatment benefits in relative risk reduction terms.The report states that "the overall reduction over the course of the full season works out to an average reduction of 19 per cent for those who get the shots"- but the question we must ask is: 19% of what? What is the baseline risk of heart attack for people who chose not to get the flu shot?

The story provided little information on the risks associated with the flu vaccine and did not mention other treatments for heart attack prevention. Since the author of study seemed to be prime source of comment, the inclusion of information on potential conflicts of interest as well as comments from additional sources could have strengthened the report.

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