CHICAGO — Monthly hospitalizations for acute aortic dissection were increased during the peak influenza season from November to March, according to data reported at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.
“We suspect that flu creates an inflammatory reaction that could theoretically increase chances of dissection in susceptible individuals,” Harleen K. Sandhu, MD, MPH, from the department of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, said in a press release.
Sandhu and colleagues conducted the study to compare national influenza activity from the CDC vs. monthly admissions for acute aortic dissection and their institution from 2001 to 2013. Of the 869 patients treated at the University of Texas Health Science Center, 398 had type A dissection, 442 had typical type B dissection and 29 had type B variants.
According to the results, admissions for acute aortic dissection were highest in November through March compared with the remaining months (3.1 admissions per month vs. 2.1 admissions per month). Influenza activity, based on the percent of office visits for flu-like illness, averaged 2.6% during the peak acute aortic dissection period (November to March) compared with 1.1% in the remaining months.
An autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model showed significant seasonality (P<.001) and demonstrated that type A dissection had a consistent correlation with influenza activity during the peak season.
“While more research is needed to further explore this association, we suggest at-risk patients, such as older Americans, should get seasonal flu shots,” Sandhu said.
For more information:
Sandhu HK. Abstract #19298. Presented at: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions; Nov. 15-19, 2014; Chicago.
Disclosure: Sandhu reports no relevant financial disclosures.