Those recovering from flu many be at risk for heart attack, study says

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The flu and heart attacks are associated, according to a new study by the New England Journal for Medicine.

CBS North Carolina learned those at risk may suffer a heart attack while recovering from the flu.

“When we have a respiratory illness it can put stress on the heart in that it causes inflammation. It can cause your heart to have to work harder. You know, your immune system is revved up,” Dr. Kevin Campbell, cardiologist, said.

A young person, who is normally healthy, is less likely suffer a heart attack than someone that’s elderly or at risk for heart disease.

“You need to understand what your risk for heart disease is in the first place,” Campbell said. “Do you have high blood pressure? Do you have diabetes? Do you have high cholesterol? Do you have a family history? Are you overweight?”

He added, “the flu is a moving target. It’s still important to get the flu shot, because it still decreases the duration and severity of the disease if you get it.”

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