Factors influencing the uptake of influenza vaccination in African American patients with heart failure: Findings from a large urban public hospital


Department of Internal Medicine, Advocate Illinois Masonic Med. Center


BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests that annual influenza vaccination may prevent acute heart failure exacerbation episodes and improve survival.

OBJECTIVE: Determine the influenza vaccination rate among African American patients with heart failure and identify predictors of uptake.

METHODS: African American patients with heart failure were recruited at Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta GA between October 1, 2017 and April 28, 2018 (N = 281). All participants completed a questionnaire.

RESULTS: Mean age of the sample was 50.5 ± 11.5 years (58% male). The influenza vaccination rate among the patients was 46% (n = 129/281). Patients who received vaccination information and recommendation from their physician, especially cardiologists, were significantly more likely to be vaccinated than those who did not (P<0.05). Major reasons for declining vaccination included fear of getting sick from influenza vaccine and distrust of the pharmaceutical companies that produce vaccines.

CONCLUSIONS: Recommendation of influenza vaccines by physicians during medical consultations and cardiology visits may improve uptake rates in heart failure patients.

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