Did you get your flu shot yet?

A nasty bout of influenza may leave you more vulnerable to heart problems. Be sure to get vaccinated against this serious infection every year — ideally in September.

Of all the things you can do to help your heart, getting a flu vaccine may be one of easiest. This recommended ritual — which the CDC advises for everyone starting at the age of 6 months — is quick and nearly painless. Yet only about half of adults ages 50 and older get a flu shot.

Avoiding the flu is especially important for people who have or are at risk for heart disease, says cardiologist Dr. Scott Solomon, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. "There's growing evidence linking influenza with both heart attacks and heart failure," he says.

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