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Flu Vaccine Tied to Better Long-Term Outcomes in Elderly ICU Survivors

Those who are vaccinated have lower risk for stroke, death in year following ICU discharge

MONDAY, Aug. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Among elderly patients, influenza vaccination is associated with a reduced risk for dying in the year following discharge from an intensive care unit (ICU), according to a study published in the July issue of Intensive Care Medicine.

Christian Fynbo Christiansen, M.D., Ph.D., from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues linked data from the Danish Intensive Care Database for 89,818 patients ≥65 years surviving hospitalization in Danish ICUs (2005 to 2015) with data from other medical registries, including seasonal vaccine information.

The researchers found that patients vaccinated against influenza (39 percent) were older, had more chronic diseases, and used more prescription medications than unvaccinated ICU survivors. Adjusted one-year mortality was lower for vaccinated versus unvaccinated patients (19.3 versus 18.8 percent; adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.92; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.89 to 0.95). There was also a decreased risk for stroke with influenza vaccination (aHR, 0.84; 95 percent CI, 0.78 to 0.92), but there was only a trend toward reduced risk for myocardial infarction (aHR, 0.93; 95 percent CI, 0.83 to 1.03). For heart failure or pneumonia, the investigators found no association between vaccination and subsequent hospitalization.

“Our findings support influenza vaccination of individuals aged ≥65 years,” the authors write.

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