Here's why the flu virus increases heart attack risk by 6x

People infected with influenza are six times more likely to have a heart attack within the first week of illness, and a recent study may have identified why, according to an article on Minneapolis-based University of Minnesota's website.

The increased heart attack risk could be due to how a flu infection increases blog coagulation and inflammation, which can increase clotting and weaken fatty plaques in the arteries, according to the report.

The study, presented at European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, used test results from 16 labs across the Netherlands, along with death and hospital records. Of 26,221 people with the flu between 2008 and 2019, 419 had a heart attack. Of those with heart attacks, 25 suffered them in the first seven days after flu diagnosis. The researchers estimated that people are 6.16 times more likely to have a heart attack in the week after flu diagnosis, similar to what Canadian researchers found.

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