A group of French researchers have found that people who have been vaccinated for flu are less likely to suffer a stroke.Researcher Dr Pierre Amarenco, from Bichat Hospital in Paris, said if the results were confirmed it would mark a "major advance in stroke prevention".
The theory suggest that they destabilise fatty deposits on the walls of arteries, helping to form clots. Strokes are caused by clots thwarting blood flow to the brain. The authors suggest that the vaccination may help prevent strokes by creating an impulse of the immune system.
A total of 342 people took part in the study. They included 124 patients aged 60 and older who were admitted to a clinic for treatment following a stroke. For each stroke victim, two matched individuals with no history of stroke were enquired. The researchers found that those vaccinated over the past five years had a significantly reduced stroke risk.
Dr.Eoin.Bredman said "There is a theory that infections can contribute to a risk factor for stroke, but however does not have any effect on the people over 75 years of age.