Flu can trigger heart attacks, reports a new study published today in the European Heart Journal.
The report's researchers found a connection between flu epidemics and the number of deaths resulting from heart attacks.
Professor Mohammad Madjid, lead author of the report, said: "This calls for more intensive efforts to increase the vaccination rate in people at risk of coronary heart disease.
"This may be especially important in an influenza pandemic when we would expect to see high mortality among the elderly and those suffering from heart problems."
He went on to explain that recognising the link between flu and heart attacks would equip doctors and those at risk with a new tool for preventing heart attacks.
He continued: "If people can recognise that the flu vaccine has specific cardioprotective effects, then high-risk people will be more likely to make sure that they receive the influenza vaccine every year."
Professor Madjid also stated that statins, beta-blockers, aspirin and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors could provide additional protection to heart disease patients during an influenza outbreak.