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High Hospital Admissions For Acute Aortic Dissection Coincide With Peak Flu Season: Study

Update Date: Nov 17, 2014 10:37 AM EST

Hospital admissions for acute aortic dissection were at maximum during peak flu season November-March, a new research has found.

 Acute aortic dissection (AAD) is a life-threatening condition in which blood leaks from the aorta. Some common symptom of the aortic dissection include sudden and severe chest or upper back pain.

According to the press release, the study found: 

Doctors treated 869 AAD patients at UT-Houston during the period.

Admissions for AAD were highest in November-March (3.1 per month during this period compared to 2.1 per month for the remaining months).

Flu activity (percent of office visits for flu-like illness) averaged 2.6 percent during the peak AAD period (November-March) compared to 1.1 percent in the remaining months.

A mathematical model showed statistically significant seasonality and showed type A dissection and flu activity moving cyclically and generally in synchrony throughout the period.

Type A dissection was significantly linked with peak flu activity.

"We suspect that flu creates an inflammatory reaction that could theoretically increase chances of dissection in susceptible individuals," said Harleen K. Sandhu, M.D., M.P.H., study senior researcher, in the press release. "While more research is needed to further explore this association, we suggest at-risk patients, such as older Americans, should get seasonal flu shots."

The research was presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2014. 

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