Some more likely to have a heart attack after flu diagnosis

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Certain people are more likely to have a heart attack after the onset of the flu.

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, people who have previous heart conditions and problems are six times more likely to have a heart attack in the 7 days following a flu diagnosis.

While it can happen in the general population, the risk is much lower.

Regardless of what group your in, Doctor Richard Vest says it's important to know the warning signs.

"Chest pain or chest tightness that hasn't been diagnosed previously that should prompt a patient to seek evaluation.  Symptoms of shortness of breath, feeling that the heart is racing, dizziness, things of that nature are very important for people to have medical evaluation immediately," said Vest with Southview Cardiology at St. Vincent's Hospital.

The best way to fight the flu is to not get it.  Vest says get your flu shot if you haven't already and call your doctor if you feel sick.

Copyright 2018 WBRC. All rights reserved.