HealthDay News — The seasonal influenza vaccine may significantly reduce mortality for patients with type 2 diabetes, as well as hospitalizations for stroke and cardiovascular and pulmonary issues, according to a study published online in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Eszter Vamos, MD, PhD, from Imperial College London, and colleagues examined data for 124,503 adults with type 2 diabetes. Outcome measures included mortality as well as admission to hospital for acute myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure, or pneumonia/influenza.

During the seven-year study, the researchers found that flu vaccination was associated with significantly lower admission rates for stroke (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.70; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.53 to 0.91), heart failure (IRR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.65 to 0.92), and pneumonia or influenza (IRR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.74 to 0.99) during influenza seasons. All-cause death was also significantly reduced (IRR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.65 to 0.83). A nonsignificant change in influenza-season hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction was noted (IRR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.62 to 1.04).

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“This study has shown that people with type 2 diabetes may derive substantial benefits from current vaccines, including protection against hospital admission for some major cardiovascular outcomes,” the authors write. “These findings underline the importance of influenza vaccination as part of comprehensive secondary prevention in this high-risk population.”


1. Vamos EP, Pape UJ, Curcin V, et al.  Effectiveness of the influenza vaccine in preventing admission to hospital and death in people with type 2 diabetes. CMAJ. 2016; doi:10.1503/cmaj.151059.