People with medical conditions and the flu
People with certain chronic (long-term) medical conditions are at risk for flu complications:
People with heart disease, such as congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease, or congestive heart failure (CHF), are at risk of flu complications. In fact, people with heart disease are more likely to die of the flu or its complications than people with any other chronic medical condition. The flu can also make heart disease worse. It is not known exactly why this happens.
The flu and lung disease both put stress on the lungs. Therefore, people with lung disease, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) are at risk of flu complications. The flu and its complications can also make the symptoms of lung disease worse.
People with diabetes can have a harder time fighting off infections, and most flu complications are caused by infections. Plus, people with diabetes are at a higher risk of other medical conditions that can increase the risk of flu complications, such as heart and kidney disease. Therefore, people with diabetes are at risk of flu complications.
Weakened immune system
The immune system helps your body fight infections. A weakened immune system can put someone at risk of flu complications by making it harder to fight the flu and other infections that may occur as complications of the flu (such as pneumonia). The flu also tends to last longer in people with weakened immune systems.
The immune system can become weakened by:
Other medical conditions that can increase the risk of flu complications include:
Reducing your risk of flu complications
If you have a chronic medical condition, try these tips to reduce your risk of flu complications:
This content is made possible through an educational grant from Roche Canada.
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