Doctors warn about heart attack risks following flu - WSMV News 4

Doctors warn about heart attack risks following flu

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(WSMV file photo) (WSMV file photo)

The emergency room at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been packed for months now. 

Now, inside the cardiology wing, doctors are warning about the risks for heart attacks that can follow a bout of the flu.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people are six times more likely to have a heart attack in that week after getting diagnosed with the flu.

The reason, doctors say, is that the body is under a lot of stress, which can cause inflammation that can cause blood clots to form.

Most patients at-risk already have heart conditions, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. 

However, patients older than 65 are also at risk.

Cardiologists are also stressing the importance of getting the flu shot.

They say it can help prevent not only the flu but complications that can lead to a heart attack.

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