“The flu virus can be dangerous for heart patients: it acts on the cardiovascular system through various mechanisms, the most important being that of inflammation which can cause an instability on the vessels of the atherosclerotic plaques and, consequently, a rupture of these plaques, favoring the ‘myocardial infarction, it is no coincidence that there is a very marked increase in cases of heart attack during the most acute phase of the flu epidemic ”.
So at Adnkronos Salute Massimo Volpe, president of Siprec (Italian Society for Cardiovascular Prevention) takes stock of the link between influenza virus and heart disease.
“The flu – explains Volpe – causes a worsening in people who have heart failure, valvular or myocardial diseases. And again: through a worsening linked to respiratory symptoms, insufficient breathing causes a reduced supply of oxygen and, consequently, the cardiovascular system is affected “.
According to the cardiologist, it is necessary to ensure that “the flu is not confused with the Sars-CoV-2 infection which determines hospital admissions for cardiopathic patients, admissions that can then evolve in many directions. This is the reason why we cardiologists suggest to our patients to undergo vaccination also against the flu, even more so at this moment with a pandemic still underway ”.
But if the flu, according to the expert, “can give rise more frequently to inflammatory processes affecting the myocardium and pericardium, it is no coincidence that sometimes the flu is associated with myocarditis and pericarditis, more rarely in people who do not have a coronary atherosclerotic disease or heart failure occurs in acute situations “. However, many people who” consider themselves healthy have many cardiovascular risk factors: diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia. These people represent a very large segment of the healthy population but in reality it is a population that has not had a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease but which in any case constitutes a rather high risk profile “.
Even those who are not cardiopathic but are dealing with diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol values, for Volpe must pay attention to prevention. “The flu vaccination is now proven, safe, efficient and has very few side effects. For years it has been confirmed as an important tool, especially in the period preceding the classic peak of the seasonal virus, ie the period from mid-January to mid-March ”concludes Volpe.
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