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The Flu and Heart Disease

by Kimberly R. on Friday, November 9, 2012

Flu season poses special problems for heart patients.

The flu can leave most people sick for a few days, but it can be a much more serious ordeal if you have heart disease or have had a stroke.

In fact, the flu can cause complications, including bacterial pneumonia, or the worsening of chronic heart problems. 

“It’s more stress on your heart. It has to work harder to pump blood through your lungs,” said Donna Arnett, Ph .D ., chair and professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Heath at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the president of the American Heart Association.

Because of potential complications, which can sometimes lead to death when a patient is already sick, it becomes even more important to avoid the flu if you have heart disease and as you get older, Dr. Arnett said.

Learn more about  flu season and basic preventive steps.

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