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General practitioners are experts in preventive care and deliver more immunisations than any other craft group in Australia.¹ GPs also manage cardiovascular disease and its complications routinely.² It is not universally recognised, however, that Influenza epidemics are associated with a significant increase in cardiovascular deaths.³Influenza infection is associated with a six-fold risk of developing a heart attack or stroke or dying from cardiovascular causes in the subsequent 2 weeks⁴ and seasonal influenza immunisation may reduce a patient’s risk of cardiovascular death by up to 50%.⁵ Fewer than 50% of those under 65 years of age with cardiac disease receive the influenza immunisation and many cardiac patients perceive the flu to be a nuisance rather than a credible threat to their cardiac and overall health.⁶Assisting physicians and patients to recognise the role of influenza vaccination in cardiovascular disease protection is an opportunity to expand and improve the way in which we mitigate cardiovascular risk.
Describe the link between influenza infection and higher rates of cardiovascular events
List the patient and physician barriers to implementing routine influenza vaccination in target and priority cardiovascular disease populations
Outline the role influenza vaccination can play in protection from cardiovascular death
This education has been developed independently and in partnership by Praxhub and the Immunisation Coalition.
Praxhub is an RACGP accredited provider under the RACGP CPD Program.
This medical education activity has been approved for 1 CPD hour with:
Activity ID: 507226
Activity ID: 30108
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Praxhub would like to acknowledge Sanofi for its support of this education. The sponsor has provided no input into the content of this activity.
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