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Flu vaccine may reduce stroke risk, study finds – Chicago Tribune

A flu shot may provide additional benefits. A recent study published in A strokeJournal of the American Heart Association, suggests that the flu vaccination may reduce the risk of stroke among adults, especially people under the age of 45.

Dr. Gyanendra Kumar, a Mayo Clinic neurologist who was not involved in the study, says it’s long overdue of course that respiratory infections increase the risk of stroke in the days following infection.

Flu symptoms can come on suddenly, including a cough, sore throat, tiredness, and sometimes a fever.

“Respiratory infections in the first three days after the onset of infection increase the risk of stroke,” says Dr. Kumar.

There are several theories as to why getting the flu may increase your chances of having a stroke.

“Some of it is increased hypercoagulation, a transition period where you have a greater tendency to form blood clots,” says Dr. Kumar.

When blood clots form, they can block blood flow to the brain.

There are two broad subtypes of stroke: the ischemic type, which is the blood clotting type, and the hemorrhagic, or bleeding type of stroke. The vast majority of strokes, about 90%, are ischemic strokes,” he explains.

A stroke is a medical emergency. That’s why reducing your risk is so important, and getting a flu shot can be another tool.

“It can prevent clotting disorders and potentially treat stroke,” says Dr. Kumar.


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