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Flu shots reduce overall mortality

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ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, Nov 02, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A Dutch study suggests elderly people who receive a yearly influenza vaccination have reduced risk of death from all causes.

"Influenza-associated morbidity and mortality increase with age, especially for individuals with high-risk conditions," said Dr. A.C.G. Voordouw, of Erasmus Medical Center, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Voordouw examined patient records of the Integrated Primary Care Information Project of Medical Informatics at the Erasmus Medical Center comprised of 26,071 people all 65 years or older.

"Overall, a first vaccination was associated with a non-significant annual reduction of mortality risk of 10 percent, while revaccination was associated with a reduced mortality risk of 24 percent," the authors wrote.

"Annual revaccination against influenza in a population of community-dwelling elderly persons is associated with a reduction of mortality risk and this study supports the recommendation for yearly influenza vaccination for elderly individuals," researchers wrote.

The study appears in the Wednesday issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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