Will the flu shot prevent a heart attack?

Torture numbers enough, and they'll say just about anything you want them to -- and in the latest flu-shot study, the numbers aren't just talking. They're screaming for mercy! The study claims the flu shot can cut the risk of heart attack by nearly half... but only in middle-aged people, and specifically only in middle-aged people with narrow arteries. What next -- flu shots will prevent stroke, but only on Tuesdays, and only if you stand on one leg? I'm only half kidding here, because if the study REALLY proved that a flu shot could prevent heart attacks in anyone, for any reason, on any day of the week, I'd be the first one talking it up. But in reality, the study proves no such thing at all. The way to make this case -- the only way to make this case, short of a clinical trial (which this wasn't) -- is to compare two very similar groups of people. But they couldn't have found more different groups of people if they tried (and who knows... maybe they did). The heart attack patients were younger, with most of them between the ages of 40 and 65. The comparison group of patients with no history of heart attack, on the other hand, was almost entirely seniors. Already, that's enough to disqualify the study. But there's more -- because the heart attack group was also in poorer health to begin with. Those are two HUGE disqualifiers -- and I'm not done yet. I've saved the biggest one for last, and that's the fact that the study was sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline and that several authors have financial ties to nearly every major flu-shot manufacturer, including GSK, Merck, Sanofi Pasteur, CSL and Pfizer. Looks like Big Pharma got its money's worth from this one. Expect to hear a whole lot more of this type of nonsense as flu season gets under way. What you won't hear much is the truth -- and the truth is, the shot doesn't work. But you don't need a shot to beat the flu anyway. All you really need are my Top Three Flu Busters, which you'll find in this month's issue of my Douglass Report newsletter.

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