Friday, Nov. 18, 2011
AUGUSTA -- In this "Smart Heart" report, we are talking about why the flu shot isn't just important for keeping you healthy.
Cindy Norris, a Nurse Educator for Heart Attack and Stroke at University Hospital, says the flu shot is also good for your heart's health. When you get a flu shot, you lower your risk of having a heart attack by 19 percent.
Norris says when you have the flu, inflammation builds up in the body. The inflammation can lead to problems in your arteries and trigger a heart attack.
"Inflammation is just the body's natural way of fighting disease, which is great for our bodies, but terrible for our arteries if we already have disease processes," Norris said.
Now is the ideal time to get the flu shot with doctors and stores offering them. For many people, your insurance will cover at least part of the cost.