Background: Influenza vaccination can reduce morbidity and mortality caused by cardiovascular diseases. This study sought to evaluate influenza vaccination coverage among adults with a history of heart attack and to determine which variables were associated with vaccine uptake.
Results: A total of 716 adults reported having suffered a heart attack. The coverage among sufferers was 67.9% as against 35% for non sufferers. The variables that were significantly associated with a higher likelihood of receiving the vaccine among sufferers were: higher age; male gender, no smoking habit, "Physician visits in the preceding four weeks"; and, "Blood pressure control in the preceding three months".
Design: A descriptive study was conducted using individual data from adults aged ≥40 years included in the year 2006/7 Spanish Health Survey and comparing subjects with a history of heart attack with those who had not suffered this event.
Methods: The number of participants surveyed was 20,060. Subjects were classified as heart attack sufferers if they answered affirmatively to the question: "Has your doctor told you that you have suffered a heart attack?" To assess influenza vaccination status we considered the response to the question, "Did you have a 'flu shot in the latest campaign?". Independent variables included sociodemographic, health-related, lifestyles and periodic control of cardiovascular risk factors.
Conclusions: Influenza vaccination coverage among subjects who have suffered a heart attack is below desirable levels. Multiple strategies focused on providers and patients are needed to improve influenza vaccination coverage among these high risk subjects, particularly now with the emerging H1N1 pandemic.