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Summary: Older adults who received at least one flu vaccination were 40% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease over the course of a four-year follow-up than their peers who did not receive a vaccine.
Source: UT Houston
People who received at least one influenza vaccine were 40% less likely than their non-vaccinated peers to develop Alzheimer’s disease over the course of four years, according to a new study from UTHealth Houston.
Research led by first author Avram S. Bukhbinder, MD, a recent alumnus of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, and senior author Paul. E. Schulz, MD, the Rick McCord Professor in Neurology at McGovern Medical School, compared the risk of Alzheimer’s disease incidence between patients with and without prior flu vaccination in a large nationwide sample of U.S. adults aged 65 and older.
An early online version of the paper detailing the findings is available in advance of its publication in the Aug. 2 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
“We found that flu vaccination in older adults reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease for several years. The strength of this protective effect increased with the number of years that a person received an annual flu vaccine—in other words, the rate of developing Alzheimer’s was lowest among those who consistently received the flu vaccine every year,” said Bukhbinder, who is still part of Schulz’s research team while in his first year of residency with the Division of Child Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital.