Flu is a killer every year, and with this season’s high toll of deaths and hospitalizations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has strongly advised everyone older than six months to get the flu vaccine. Even healthy people are at risk, but those with heart failure should take particular note of today’s news. “It is well known that influenza infection is associated with increased risk for mortality in heart failure patients,” said Dr. Hidekatsu Fukuta, the lead author of the new study, a cardiologist at Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Japan. Fukuta lead a study that looked at people with heart failure who had received the flu vaccine. In the study, set to be presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting, the heart failure patients who received the flu vaccine in any given year showed a 50 percent decrease in risk of death during flu season, as well as a 20 percent decrease for the rest of the year. “Given the high mortality rate and the relatively low influenza vaccination rates in heart failure patients worldwide, our study supports a wider use of influenza vaccination in heart failure patients,” said Fukuta.

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