Flu Shot Decreases Elderly Death Risk by Half Says Study

A recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine indicates that seniors over 65 who get the flu vaccine cut their risk of influenza death in half, and that vaccination lowers hospitalization rates by 27 percent.

Approximately 36,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations are attributed to the flu each year in the United States.

The study, lead by Dr. Kristin Nichol, from the Minneapolis VA Medical Center, was conducted on approximately 300,000 unvaccinated and 415,000 vaccinated seniors over the age of 65 from three different HMO’s over 10 years.

Interestingly, this study contradicts one that was released just last week that indicated results of flu vaccine effectiveness were exagerated. Dr. Nichol’s study attempted to address some of the discrepancies.

 

Source: The New England Journal of Medicine, October 4,
2007.

 

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