Fewer hospital admissions for COPD patients given flu jab

Flu jabs prevent COPD exacerbations and can prevent further decline in lung function, according to Indian research.

Patients diagnosed with COPD were hospitalised less frequently by the condition after  a flu jab, say researchers.

Eighty-seven COPD sufferers were monitored for acute respiratory illness and acute exacerbated COPD one year before and after vaccination.

Hospital admissions fell from 14 before vaccination to just four afterwards.

Dr George Kassianos, RCGP spokesman on vaccination, said GPs had done extremely well immunising COPD patients, but unfortunately some patients still refused. 

‘The problem is we need to immunise as many people as possible to reduce the circulation of the disease, otherwise even vaccinated people can get it,' he said.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

Int J Clin Pract 2008, 62: 585-592

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