Flu vaccine could improve post-discharge prognosis in critically ill older patients


  • Pavankumar Kamat
  • Univadis Medical News
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Influenza vaccination could reduce the risk for mortality and hospitalisation for stroke by 8 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively, in elderly individuals within one year of discharge from an intensive care unit (ICU), a new study suggests.

Researchers analysed data from the Danish Intensive Care Database on elderly patients (65 years) admitted to ICUs and subsequently discharged (n=89,818). One-year risks of mortality and hospitalisation for myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure or pneumonia were determined among patients who had received or not received vaccination for influenza. 

Compared with unvaccinated ICU patients, the vaccinated ICU patients had lower one-year risks of mortality (adjusted HR, 0.92; 95% CI 0.89–0.95) and risk of hospitalisation for stroke (adjusted HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.78–0.92). There was a non-significant reduction in the one-year risk of myocardial infarction (adjusted HR, 0.93; 95% CI 0.83–1.03) among vaccinated ICU patients versus unvaccinated patients. No association was evident between vaccination and hospitalisation for heart failure and pneumonia.

Writing in the Intensive Care Medicine journal, the authors said: "Our finding suggests a potential effect of influenza vaccination on the post-discharge prognosis of critical illness, and thereby supports the current recommendations to administer influenza vaccination to all persons aged 65 years or older."

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