Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP
We all know the flu can be dangerous, but for people with heart disease, the risk for developing serious complications from the flu is much higher. Last year, nearly half of adults hospitalized with flu complications had heart disease. Even more alarming, the heart attack risk is six times higher for adults with heart disease who get the flu.
So, what should people with heart disease do during the peak of flu season? The most obvious answer is to get a flu shot. The single best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated. Additionally, people with heart disease should be vigilant about the following:
1. Avoiding people who are sick
2. Washing hands often
3. Keeping hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth
4. Disinfecting shared surfaces
5. Drinking plenty of fluids
6. Getting enough sleep
7. Eating healthy
February is American Heart Month, and fittingly, it overlaps with peak flu season. If you have heart disease, it’s especially important that you practice good flu prevention habits!