About one in three individuals with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) did not receive an influenza vaccination in the past year, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, held from Nov. 16 to 18 in Philadelphia.
Gowtham Rama Harsha Grandhi, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., from MedStar Health in Baltimore, and colleagues examined data for a sample of 15,268 adults aged ≥40 years with ASCVD who participated in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey from 2008 to 2015 to determine whether they had received an influenza vaccination in the past year.
The researchers found that 32 percent of these individuals had not had a flu vaccination in the past year. Among younger individuals, non-Hispanic blacks, those without a usual source of care and insurance, and those with a lower level of education and household income, vaccine coverage was significantly lower. After accounting for sociodemographic determinants, these differences remained statistically significant. Vaccine coverage was lowest for uninsured, low-income individuals with ASCVD and higher for middle-/high-income, insured individuals with ASCVD (nonvaccination rates of 65 and 29 percent, respectively).
“Our study sheds light on key inequalities related to disparities in flu vaccination rates,” a coauthor said in a statement. “We hope that flu vaccinations among heart disease patients become an integral part of quality of care measures and will facilitate processes to limit these unintended care gaps among the most vulnerable in our society.”
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