Have you had your flu shot?

Winter means flu season. And, for those living with chronic conditions, such as heart disease, the flu can be seriously dangerous.

For the first time, the American Lung Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Heart Association have come together to raise an important alert about the dangers of influenza (flu) for people with chronic health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and lung diseases such as asthma and COPD.

Complications from influenza can be lethal. The flu vaccine can reduce these risks significantly.

The last few flu seasons have had a particularly deadly impact on older adults. Older patients may also face catastrophic disability and loss of independence due to the flu, crippling their ability to be active and permanently impacting their quality of life. Annual flu vaccination can reduce risk of serious complications for people with chronic health conditions—reducing the chance of hospitalization by 37% and reducing the risk of admission to the intensive care unit by 82%.

To that end, people living with heart disease should be immunized against the flu annually as part of their regular health care management. Just as medications and blood pressure monitoring are key to maintain healthy lives, an annual flu shot should be viewed as a must to prevent illness and help keep chronic conditions, like heart disease in check.

Talk to your doctor today about getting a flu shot. Don’t delay.

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