(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