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AHA: Young Adults With CVD Have Low Flu Vaccination Rates

Prevalence of flu vaccination lower among adults aged 18 to 34, 35 to 44 years with versus without history of MI

TUESDAY, Nov. 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Many young adults with cardiovascular disease (CVD) do not receive influenza vaccination, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2020, held virtually from Nov. 13 to 17.

Tarang Parekh, M.B.B.S., from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and colleagues examined the prevalence of flu vaccine among 117,978 young adults aged 18 to 44 years with information on history of flu vaccination and CVD.

The researchers found that the overall flu vaccine rate remained higher among adults aged 35 to 44 years versus those aged 18 to 34 years in 2018. Adults aged 35 to 44 years with any CVD had a comparatively lower flu vaccine rate than those without any known CVD (26.7 versus 28.0 percent). Among younger adults aged 18 to 34 years, the vaccine rate was similar, regardless of CVD history. The prevalence of flu vaccination was lower among adults with myocardial infarction (MI) versus without MI for those aged 18 to 34 years (19.5 versus 24.5 percent) and those aged 35 to 44 years (22.3 versus 28.1 percent). The vaccination rate was higher for those with versus without congestive heart disease. Among stroke survivors, those aged 35 to 44 years reported a significantly lower flu vaccine rate, while younger survivors reported a higher rate.

“If we look at our Healthy People 2020 goals, one major goal is to reach 70 percent of the population receiving the annual flu vaccine. However, we are not even at the halfway mark, especially when you consider that the vaccine rate among those with cardiovascular disease is significantly lower,” Parekh said in a statement. “It’s essential that young adults with cardiovascular disease receive the flu vaccine. We need to place greater focus on patients who are not being vaccinated and push a targeted intervention to close that gap.”

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