(Cleveland) – If you haven’t gotten your flu shot, you may be missing out from protection from influenza but protection from heart attacks as well.

A new Canadian study finds people who get a flu shot may also decrease their risk of major cardiovascular events like heart failure or a heart attack.

Dr. Curtis Rimmerman did not take part in the study but is a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic and says it appears the vaccine may reduce the chance of a heart attack, even in high risk patients.

Dr. Rimmerman believes almost all patients will benefit from the flu vaccine so there's no reason to avoid getting the shot.

University of Toronto researchers analyzed the results of 6 studies involving nearly 7,000 people.

They found 3% of people who received a flu vaccine developed a major adverse cardiovascular event in the next year compared to 5% of the people who were not vaccinated.

However, among people who had a recent event, like a heart attack or unstable angina, 10% of people in that group had another event within the next year compared to 23% of people who were not vaccinated.

The study’s authors say more research is needed, but it appears for people with high cardiovascular risk, flu vaccine may decrease the chances of an event within the next year.

Complete findings are available in the “Journal of the American Medical Association.”

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(Photos by WTAM staff.)

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