Pneumococcal jab cuts MI risk

Pneumococcal vaccination cuts heart attack rates by half for high-risk patients, a new retrospective analysis suggests.

Researchers in Canada compared rates of pneumococcal vaccination for a total of 999 patients admitted to hospital for MI with those of 3,996 patients admitted to hospital for another reason.

They found that patients admitted for MI were 47 per cent less likely to have been vaccinated.

Any protective effect of the vaccine may take more than a year to appear, however, the study suggests.

Patients who had received the vaccine within the past year did not show a statistically significant decrease in risk of MI.

Whereas those who had received the vaccine over two years before showed a 67 per cent reduced risk.

The researchers say that their findings, and the way in which vaccination leads to protection, need further investigation in larger studies.

  • CMAJ 2008; 179: 773-7.

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