(HealthDay News) – Recent influenza does not predict acute myocardial infarction (AMI), but vaccination offers a significant protective benefit for the prevention of AMI, according to research published online Aug. 21 in Heart.

C. Raina MacIntyre, PhD, of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, and colleagues analyzed data from inpatients with AMI (cases) and outpatients without AMI (controls) at a hospital in Sydney to assess the association between influenza and AMI.

The researchers found that 34 of 275 cases (12.4%) and 19 of 284 controls (6.7%) had recent influenza (odds ratio, 1.97). About half of the study participants had received the current influenza vaccine. In multivariate analysis, recent influenza infection was no longer a significant predictor of AMI. Influenza vaccination offered significant protection against AMI (odds ratio, 0.55).

“Our data should inform vaccination policy and cardiologists should be aware of missed opportunities to vaccinate individuals with ischemic heart disease against influenza,” the authors write.

GlaxoSmithKline funded the study; several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including GlaxoSmithKline.

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