Well-Being Medical Advances

Flu vaccine linked to lower rate of Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers found that at least one dose of the vaccine lowered the odds of developing the disease by 40 percent.
Flu shots are less effective for overweight and obese people
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  • COVID-19 patients were at a 25 percent greater risk of developing a psychiatric disorder in the months after infections than those who experienced other respiratory illnesses.

  • Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 had a 3.8 percent chance of developing a psychiatric disorder compared to 3 percent of those with a different respiratory diagnosis, researchers said.

  • The rates of psychiatric diagnosis were measured over two periods – 21 to 120 days after a COVID-19 diagnosis, and from 120 days to a year after diagnosis.

Researchers have made a connection between receiving a flu vaccine and a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.  

Avram Bukhbinder, an alum of the McGovern Medical School of UTHealth Houston, and Paul E. Schulz, professor of Neurology at McGovern Medical School, compared the risk of developing the disease in patients who had received to those who had not gotten a flu vaccination the year prior, with a sample of more than 1 million adults in the United States over the age of 65.  

As a result, the pair were able to find that those who had received at least one flu vaccination within the past year were 40 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease compared to those who were unvaccinated.  


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“We found that flu vaccination in older adults reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease for several years. The strength of this protective effect increased with the number of years that a person received an annual flu vaccine — in other words, the rate of developing Alzheimer’s was lowest among those who consistently received the flu vaccine every year,” said Bukhbinder in a statement. 

“Future research should assess whether flu vaccination is also associated with the rate of symptom progression in patients who already have Alzheimer’s dementia.” 

During four-year follows, more than 5 percent of flu-vaccinated patients developed Alzheimer’s, while 8.5 percent of patients not vaccinated had developed the illness.  

The reason behind the link needs further study, the researchers said. But past studies have found connection between a lowered risk for dementia and exposure to different adulthood vaccinations like the pneumonia, polio, herpes and tetanus vaccines.  


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