Acute cardiovascular events common among adults hospitalized with influenza
In a large population-based study, acute cardiovascular events, especially heart failure and ischemic heart disease, were found to be common among patients hospitalized with influenza. The authors suggest that vaccination is particularly important among those with cardiovascular risk factors. The findings are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Annual influenza epidemics in the United States result in 140,000 to 810,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 to 61,000 deaths each year. Although respiratory disease is a hallmark of influenza virus infection, cardiovascular events are also important complications of influenza.
Researchers from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used data from the U.S. Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET) during the 2010-to-2011 through 2017-to-2018 influenza seasons to examine acute cardiovascular events in adults with a hospitalization associated with lab-confirmed influenza. More than 80,000 patients were included in the analysis. The researchers found that almost 12 percent of patients hospitalized with influenza had an acute cardiovascular event. The most common such events were acute heart failure and acute ischemic heart disease. Older age, tobacco use, underlying cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and renal disease were significantly associated with higher risk for these events. As such, the authors suggest that clinicians should ensure high rates of vaccination, especially in at-risk populations.