Flu vax may halve MI risk

A study from the University of New South Wales found that, in 559 patients aged over 40 and referred to a Sydney hospital over three years, the risk of acute MI decreased by 45% in those patients who had been vaccinated.

The 50–65 age group is currently not included in the national vaccination program, although the authors believe that extending the schedule is worthy of further investigation in the light of this new evidence.

Lead author Professor Raina MacIntyre, an infectious diseases epidemiologist at UNSW and a director of the Influenza Specialist Group, said that such an extension had previously been considered not to be cost-effective.

“Prevention of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death globally and in Australia, and causes a great deal of illness and death in older adults, wasn’t taken into consideration in such estimates,” she said.

“Given the huge burden of coronary artery