Influenza vaccination reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 40%

Summary: Older people who had been vaccinated against the flu at least once had a 40% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than their unvaccinated peers over a four-year follow-up.

A source: UT Houston

According to a new study by UTHealth Houston, people who received at least one flu vaccine were 40% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease in four years than their unvaccinated peers.

The study, led by first author Avram S. Bukhbinder, MD, a recent graduate of the UTHealth Houston McGovern Medical School, and senior author Paul. E.. Schultz, MD, Rick McCord, a professor of neurology at McGovern Medical School, compared the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease among patients who had not been vaccinated against the largest national sample of influenza in adults 65 and older in the United States.

The first online version of the paper, which reflects the results of the study, is available before its publication in August. Number 2 Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

“We have found that vaccinating the elderly against influenza reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease for several years. The severity of this protective effect has increased year by year, with the lowest incidence of Alzheimer’s disease among those who receive the flu vaccine each year, ”Buchbinder said. Part of Schultz’s research team, in their first year of residency in the Department of Pediatric Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“Future research should assess whether influenza vaccination is related to the rate of progression of symptoms in patients with Alzheimer’s dementia.”

The study – Two years after UTHealth Houston researchers found a possible link between the flu vaccine and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, it carried a much larger sample than previous studies, including 935,887 patients vaccinated against influenza and 935,887 patients vaccinated.

These results highlight the strong protective effect of the influenza vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease. Image in public domain

During a four-year follow-up, approximately 5.1% of patients vaccinated against influenza were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. At the same time, 8.5% of unvaccinated patients developed Alzheimer’s disease during follow-up.

According to Buchbinder and Schultz, these results show a strong protective effect of the flu vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease. However, the mechanisms behind this process require further study.

“Because there is evidence that several vaccines protect against Alzheimer’s disease, we don’t think this is a specific effect of the flu vaccine,” said Schultz, a professor of neurodegenerative diseases at the Umbrie family and director of the Center for Neurocognitive Disorders. At McGovern Medical School.

“Instead, we believe that the immune system is complex and that some changes, such as pneumonia, activate it in a way that exacerbates Alzheimer’s disease. But other things that activate the immune system can do it in another way – protecting against Alzheimer’s disease. Of course, we need to know more about how the immune system worsens or improves the outcome of this disease.

Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 6 million people in the United States, and the number of people living with the disease is growing due to the country’s aging population. Previous studies have found a reduction in the risk of dementia associated with the prevention of various adult immunizations, including tetanus, polio and herpes vaccines, influenza vaccines, and others.

In addition, as more and more time has elapsed since the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine and long-term follow-up data became available, Bookhbinder said that there should be a similar link between COVID-19 vaccination and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s about vaccination and Alzheimer’s disease research reports

Author: Press service
A source: UT Houston
The connection: Press Service – UT Houston
Photo: Image in public domain

Original study: Open access.
Avram S. The Bukhbins Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease

See also

This cartoon shows a woman looking at herself in a mirror


Risk of Alzheimer’s disease after influenza vaccination: a claim-based cohort study using aptitude score match


Previous studies have found a reduced risk of dementia of any etiology after vaccination in selected populations, including veterans and patients with severe chronic conditions. However, the impact of influenza vaccination on Alzheimer’s disease (BP) has not been characterized in the general group of older people in the United States.


Comparison of the risk of AD incident among patients who have not been vaccinated against influenza on the basis of the largest claims in the United States.


From September 1, 2009 to August 31, 2019, data on unidentified claims were used. Eligible patients recovered from dementia during the 6-year follow-up period and were ≥65 years old at the start of follow-up. Convenience-score matching (PSM) was used to create co-vaccinated and non-vaccinated cohorts against influenza. Relative risk (RR) and absolute risk reduction (ARR) were assessed to assess the effect of influenza vaccination on BP risk during a 4-year follow-up.


From a unique sample of eligible patients (do not= 2,356,479), PSM produced a sample of 935,887 influenza-vaccinated-unvaccinated matching pairs. The corresponding sample was 73.7 (SD, 8.7) years old and 56.9% female, with an average follow-up of 46 (IQR, 29–48) months; 5.1% (do not= 47,889) and 8.5% of patients vaccinated against influenza (do not= 79,630) Patients who had not been vaccinated against influenza developed AD during follow-up. RR was 0.60 (95% CI, 0.59–0.61) and ARR was 0.034 (95% CI, 0.033–0.035), corresponding to the number required for 29.4 treatment.

A result:

This study shows that influenza vaccination is associated with a reduced risk of AD in the U.S. national sample of adults 65 and older.

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