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Flu Vaccine May Guard Against Alzheimer's

A new study provides more evidence that influenza vaccination may help protect older adults against Alzheimer's disease (AD).

In a large propensity-matched cohort of older adults, those who had received at least one influenza inoculation were 40% less likely than unvaccinated peers to develop AD over the course of 4 years.

"Influenza infection can cause serious health complications, particularly in adults 65 and older. Our study's findings ― that vaccination against the flu virus may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer's dementia for at least a few years ― adds to the already compelling reasons get the flu vaccine annually," Avram Bukhbinder, MD, with McGovern Medical School at the UTHealth, Houston, Texas, told Medscape Medical News.

As previously reported by Medscape Medical News, the new findings support earlier work by the same researchers that also suggested a protective effect of flu vaccination on dementia risk.

The latest study was published online June 13 in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

40% Lower Risk

Prior studies have found a lower risk of dementia of any etiology following influenza vaccination in selected populations, including veterans and patients with serious chronic health conditions.

However, the effect of influenza vaccination on AD risk in a general cohort of older US adults has not been characterized.

Both the Pneumococcal and Flu vaccines are recommended adult vaccines for you and your loved ones.

Bukhbinder and colleagues used claims data to create a propensity-matched cohort of 935,887 influenza-vaccinated and a like number of unvaccinated adults aged 65 and older.

The median age of the persons in the matched sample was 73.7 years, and 57% were women. All were free of dementia during the 6-year look-back study period.

During median follow-up of 46 months, 47,889 (5.1%) flu-vaccinated adults and 79,630 (8.5%) unvaccinated adults developed AD.

The risk of AD was 40% lower in the vaccinated group (relative risk, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.59 – 0.61). The absolute risk reduction was 0.034 (95% CI, 0.033 – 0.035), corresponding to a number needed to treat of 29.4.

At Ashok and Ashok One Hospitals, the latest updated Flu vaccines are readily available. They are recommended for all age groups. You can directly walk in to take the vaccine on any day, even on Sunday, There is no need for an appointment.

Wishing you a safe and healthy life. Remember. Prevention is better than cure.


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