Flu can have dangerous domino effect on older adults

WXYZPublished: December 4, 2017
Published: December 4, 2017

With this year’s flu season predicted to be more severe, it’s important for elderly folks to get their flu shot. That’s because the flu can kick-off a downward domino effect when it comes to their health.  As we get older, our immune defenses become weaker and it’s harder to fight off infection. For those of you who are 65 or older, you have a greater risk for serious complications like pneumonia, dehydration and worsening chronic conditions like asthma and emphysema. On top of that, after you finally recover, you face higher odds of heart attack, stroke or disability.  For seniors, the risk increases between two weeks and one month after you’re feeling better.  During this time, there’s a three to five times higher risk for a heart attack and a two to three times higher risk of suffering a stroke.  When you catch the flu, it can be very debilitating. But even after you’ve recovered, elderly folks may never return to the same health they had before. Flu can set off a domino effect, and end up knocking seniors down the disability scale.

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