Influenza virus infections may cause heart attacks, a new research reveals

People who caught flu in Canada between 2009 and 2014 had a six-fold higher risk of suffering a heart attack in the seven first days after they were diagnosed.

To this conclusion came a Canadian scientific research. According to this, after the eighth day of respiratory infection, the risk of heart attack is declining significantly.

Researchers, led by Dr. Jeffrey Kwong of the Toronto Institute of Clinical Sciences, who published the publication in the ”New England Journal of Medicine”, analyzed nearly 20.000 cases of laboratory-influenza diagnosis, of which 332 had been associated with infarction.

“Our findings are important because an association between influenza and acute myocardial infarction reinforces the importance of vaccination”, said Kwong.

The risk is higher for the elderly, for those who have been caught type B flu (the type A flu that is more common, less risk for the heart) and for those who have already suffered a heart attack.

The study shows that other respiratory infections increase the risk of heart attack, but not as much as flu. The researchers did not examine whether heart attacks caused by influenza virus infections are also more deadly.

The symptoms of influenza appear to be about one and a half days after infection in the case of type A and half a day in type B. Symptoms then reach their peak within one to two days. Those who have heart problems are advised to visit their doctor.