Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Flu vaccines can reduce respiratory problems by up to three-quarters

16.04.2008
Annual flu vaccinations are highly effective at preventing acute respiratory illness and making sure that existing breathing problems don’t get any worse, according to research published in the April issue of IJCP, the UK-based International Journal of Clinical Practice.

A study of 87 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) - a major cause of ill health and death - found that having the annual flu vaccine reduced overall problems by more than two-thirds.

The vaccinations were particularly effective at providing protection for patients with severe COPD, where the incidence of additional respiratory problems fell by three-quarters.

“COPD is a serious lung disease that causes breathing problems and is responsible for a significant number of outpatient and emergency department visits as well as inpatient hospital stays” says lead author Dr Balakrishnan Menon from the Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute at the University of Delhi, India.

“It has increased by 40 per cent since 1942 and is now the world’s fourth leading cause of death and twelfth leading cause of disability. The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that by 2020 it will become the third leading cause of death and rise significantly in the disability stakes to fifth place.

“Most of the healthcare costs associated with COPD are due to problems that worsen the condition and infections caused by the influenza virus are major culprits.

“Despite the WHO’s recommendation that all patients with COPD should receive the annual flu vaccine, the injection is not used as widely as it could be, especially in developing countries.

“Our research suggests that this could be leading to higher levels of respiratory problems and that these extra healthcare costs could be avoided by improving the uptake of this simple preventative measure.”

The 87 male patients, who had an average age of just under 65, were monitored for a year before and after they received the vaccine. All had been diagnosed with COPD, but none of them had previously received the flu vaccine.

After the patients received the vaccine, the overall incidence of acute respiratory illness and acute exacerbation of COPD fell by 67 per cent, with 24 patients experiencing them before they received the vaccine and eight experiencing them in the post-vaccination period.

The effectiveness of the vaccine varied, depending on how badly people suffered from the disease. People with mild or moderate COPD saw a 60 per cent reduction in overall incidence and people with severe COPD enjoyed a 75 per cent reduction.

Outpatient visits fell by 50 per cent after vaccination and there was also a 70 per cent reduction in the number of study participants who were hospitalised.

During the two-year study period patients attended monthly check-ups and received the same level of medication, healthcare and lifestyle advice. Any respiratory problems were also carefully monitored.

The researchers were careful to ensure that no other factors clouded the results so that they could observe the effect of the influenza virus more efficiently. This included having an all male study group. Fewer women met the study criteria, mainly because they were less likely to smoke – 83 per cent of the men in this study were current or former smokers.

“Influenza viruses are a major cause of death and serious illness in elderly people, particularly if they suffer from COPD” concludes Dr Menon.

“Our study was undertaken in a population where uptake of the vaccine is traditionally low and it had a marked effect on the men who received it. This could also explain why our 67 per cent reduction was higher than the 32 to 45 per cent falls reported by previous studies carried out in populations where the vaccine is more common.

“We believe that our research underlines the importance of increasing vaccine use worldwide, especially in patients with COPD and in areas where the flu vaccination rate is low.

“It is clear that annual flu vaccinations have a major role to play in bringing down the number of preventable deaths and hospital admissions that occur every year in patients with chronic lung diseases.”

Annette Whibley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/ijcp

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>