Prevention of cardiovascular diseases with vaccination

Attendees at the SEMG Conference in Galicia.

The Update Day in the chronic patient respiratory pathology Y cardiometabolicrecently held in Sanxenxo, focused, among other relevant issues, on the flu vaccination as a tool to prevent cardiovascular events and the body of evidence that supports this fact through observational studies.

“This has considerable clinical and health importancegiven the underuse of vaccination among the general public and the possible impact what is this preventive strategy could have in high-risk patients,” he says. Lorenzo Armenterosspokesman for the Spanish Society of General and Family Physicians (SEMG).

As reported in this training session organized by the Galician Society of General and Family Physicians (SEMG Galicia), cardiovascular diseases are the world’s leading cause of deathrepresenting about 18 million deaths a year. In this context, influenza has been identified as a trigger of cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction, stroke and heart failure.

A considerable proportion of the estimated morbidity and the cost of treating heart disease can be attributed to a increase of the hospitalizations for cardiovascular causes during flu season. Specifically, Armenteros specified that he increases from risk of myocardial infarction 6-10 times within a week of infection, increases from stroke risk 3-8 times and longer risk period; and causes high morbidity and mortality in patients with heart failure.

Influenza vaccination, recommended for various risk groups

In this context, the SEMG spokesperson recalls how the flu vaccination is recommended in patients with cardiovascular diseases by leading health authorities, advisory bodies and medical societies. Specifically, the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates the vaccine for risk groups including those at special risk of developing serious illness leading to hospitalization either death: Pregnant women, children under 5 years of age, older adults, and people with underlying medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS, asthma, and chronic heart or lung disease. The European Society of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (AHA) are other leading organizations that recommend influenza vaccination.

Scientific evidence shows that “the flu vaccination can protect against cardiovascular events through multifactorial mechanisms”, reiterates Armenteros. On the one hand, preventing infection prevents alterations in homeostasis. Similarly, the immune response to vaccination itself may lead to cardiovascular benefits. Vaccine-induced antibodies can promote hemodynamic stabilization or from plaque by activating the bradykinin receptor 2; and lastly, influenza vaccination can promote the stabilization of atherosclerotic plaques.

Updating COPD treatment, a pending task

The SEMG Galicia Update Conference on chronic respiratory and cardiometabolic pathology patients brought together more than one hundred doctors on April 22 and 23 in Sanxenxo. According to the president of the Galician Society of General and Family Physicians, Carlos Bastide, “the level has been very high, the assistance very high and all those registered have shown their enormous satisfaction. In short, it has been a very good experience and a resounding success for SEMG”.

Other contents included in its scientific program were COPD treatment update; performance in Primary Care in the face of an acute asthmatic crisis; moving towards a comprehensive care strategy to COPD in Galicia and new therapies in the treatment of patients with respiratory disease.

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