Pneumonia Vaccine: No Protection for Heart Attacks
Reported May 06, 2010
(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Despite previous studies to the contrary, a recent study has found that the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine is not associated with a reduced risk of heart attacks or strokes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends the pneumonia vaccine for people older than 65 years, for all adults with decreased disease-fighting ability, chronic illness, sickle cell disease, spleen problems, heart disease, lung disease, asthma, diabetes, alcoholism, liver disease, or kidney disease, and for people who smoke cigarettes.
Unlike previous studies, the new study adjusted in the analysis for confounding factors such as diet, disease history, and lifestyle patterns like cigarette smoking and exercise habits. When these factors were taken into account, the study found no correlation between the vaccine and a reduced risk of vascular disease.
“Based on previous research findings, the general public and some clinicians may perceive that the pneumococcal vaccine might have the effect of protecting against heart attack and stroke, but our study showed no such effect,” the study’s lead author HungFu Tseng, Ph.D., MPH, a research scientist and epidemiologist with the Kaiser Permanente Department of Research and Evaluation in Pasadena, Calif., was quoted as saying. “People should continuously pursue other strategies to reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke.”
Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, May 4, 2010