Individuals who have been given the influenza vaccine may have a lower risk of developing blood clots in their veins, new research suggests.
Flu shots could reduce the risk of forming a venous thrombotic embolism (VTE) - or clot - by 26 per cent, according to findings presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2008.
There appeared to be a more pronounced effect in individuals aged under 52 years – with a 48 per cent lower likelihood of a VTE reported.
Lead study author Joseph Emmerich, professor of vascular medicine at the University Paris Descartes, said the mechanism underpinning the link was unclear.
While he pointed out that "infections in general increase blood viscosity, and systemic inflammatory reactions to infectious agents can themselves trigger a thrombotic process," he suggested that other factors may also be at play in the case of the flu vaccine.
Meanwhile separate research has suggested that the consumption of whole grains in the diet can reduce the risk of developing heart failure.
The study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association linked the consumption of eggs and high-fat dairy products with an increased risk of developing the condition.
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