Does getting a flu vaccine reduce your risk of stroke? Elizabeth Tracey reports


People who received the flu vaccine experienced fewer strokes in the subsequent flu season than those who didn’t, a new study finds. Anna Durbin, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins, interprets the data.

Durbin: It’s a small study but I will say it’s very well controlled. What it showed is those people who got the flu vaccine had a lower incidence of ischemic stroke than those people who did not, and it wasn’t related to necessarily the prevention of influenza. So they saw that effect before the influenza outbreak as well as during the influenza outbreak. And they did try to control for comorbidities. So it’s really unclear what the mechanism is. I think it’s intriguing and I think it’s something we need to look into more.  :33

Durbin notes that previous studies have also demonstrated a benefit in reducing heart attacks among those who got a flu vaccine, and she looks forward to confirmatory studies. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.