Study links flu with heart attacks

Shreveport, LA - The flu epidemic shows no signs of slowing down and according to the American Heart Association, a new study now links the virus to heart attacks.

There's even a 6 fold increase shortly after getting the flu.

The initial report was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study does not say why the flu might trigger heart attacks, so we talked with a cardiovascular professor at LSU Health Shreveport to find out why.

He says, the infections you have during the flu can cause blood clots.

"It looks like inflammation makes the plaques more likely to break right? It makes them weaker and when the plaques break then you get a clot forming in your blood vessels and it stops blood pumping to your heart and that's what a heart attack is." says Dr. Wayne Orr.

The Heart Association says you could decrease your chances of getting a flu related heart attack by getting a flu shot and the Louisiana Health Department is offering free flu shots in 55 parishes Wednesday at health units from 1-3 p.m.

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