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Tex Heart Inst J. 2004;31(1):22-7.

Influenza vaccination of persons with cardiovascular disease in the United States.

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  • 1National Immunization Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.


People who have cardiovascular disease are at increased risk of hospitalization or death associated with influenza infection, and are included among the high-risk groups for whom annual influenza vaccination is recommended. To measure the progress toward the national year 2000 and 2010 objectives of a 60% annual influenza vaccination of adults with high-risk conditions aged 18 to 64 years, we analyzed data from the 1997 to 2001 National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS) regarding persons with cardiovascular disease. The NHIS is an annual, cross-sectional survey representative of the U.S., noninstitutionalized, civilian population. Estimated percentages of persons with heart disease reporting influenza vaccination were relatively stable during the 1996-97 through 2000-2001 influenza seasons, with the highest levels in most groups occurring in 1999-2000: 49.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 44.1%-54.3%) among persons aged 50 to 64 years; and 22.7% (95% CI, 18.2%-27.2%) among persons aged 18 to 49 years. Influenza vaccine coverage among adults aged 18 to 64 years with cardiovascular disease is substantially below the national objective. Multiple strategies are needed to improve vaccination coverage, such as increasing the awareness of and demand for vaccination by persons with heart disease; increasing implementation by providers of practices that have been shown to increase vaccination levels; and adopting of influenza vaccination by primary care providers and specialists as a standard of care for persons diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.

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