Background: People with cardiovascular disease are at high risk of complication from influenza. However, little is known about influenza vaccine coverage among this population.
Methods: Using 2002 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data, the authors studied the prevalence of influenza vaccination in the previous 12 months among participants aged > or = 18 years with cardiovascular disease or hypertension.
Results: After adjustment for age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education, the prevalence of influenza vaccination ranged from 35.9% to 42.6%. The prevalence was particularly low among participants with cardiovascular disease aged 18-49 years (range, 23.9% to 42.2%). The prevalence of influenza vaccination varied considerably between states among people with hypertension (range, from 30.2% to 45.9%) and those with other cardiovascular diseases (range, from 37.0% to 51.5%).
Conclusions: Influenza vaccination levels are low among people with cardiovascular disease, especially those less than 50 years old. They should be encouraged to receive an annual influenza vaccination to avoid cardiovascular complications from influenza.