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Vol. 72. Issue 6.
Pages 515 (June 2019)
Vol. 72. Issue 6.
Pages 515 (June 2019)
Letter to the Editor
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Vaccination in Patients With Heart Disease. How Long Should We Wait?
Vacunación del paciente cardiópata. ¿Hasta cuándo esperar?
Vivencio Barriosa,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author:
, Carlos Escobarb
a Servicio de Cardiología, Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal, Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain
b Servicio de Cardiología, Hospital Universitario La Paz, Madrid, Spain
Related content
Rev Esp Cardiol. 2018;71:697-910.1016/j.rec.2018.02.012
Nikolaos P.E. Kadoglou, John Parissis, Petar Seferovic, Gerasimos Filippatos
Rev Esp Cardiol. 2019;72:51610.1016/j.rec.2019.01.002
Nikolaos P.E. Kadoglou, John Parissis, Petar Seferovic, Gerasimos Filippatos
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To the Editor,

We read with interest the article by Kadoglou et al. about the importance of vaccinating patients with heart failure.1 The article highlights the considerable negative impact that influenza and pneumococcal infections can have in heart failure patients, and the benefits of vaccination in this population. However, although the latest European heart failure guidelines recommend vaccinating against influenza and pneumococcal disease,2 the authors’ final conclusion was the following: “…large-scale trials are required to clarify the safety and efficacy of anti-influenza and antipneumococcal vaccinations in HF conditions.”1

Although surveillance is needed after any health product comes on to the market, including vaccines, we believe that both these vaccinations should be recommended for patients with chronic heart conditions, based on the current evidence.

For example, it is known that up to 14% of patients experience heart failure (new-onset or decompensation), 7.1% myocardial infarction, and 5.8% new-onset arrhythmia (mainly atrial fibrillation) following pneumococcal pneumonia. Furthermore, an adult with heart failure has an almost 13-fold higher risk of developing pneumococcal pneumonia than a healthy adult, and there is a long-lasting risk of cardiovascular complications following this disease.3–6 In addition, pneumococcal pneumonia generates huge health care costs.7

In a phase-4 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial carried out in nearly 85 000 individuals aged 65 years or older, 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination proved effective for preventing community-acquired pneumococcal pneumonia and invasive disease due to the vaccine serotypes.8

In a recent consensus document signed by 18 scientific societies including the Spanish Society of Cardiology, yearly influenza vaccination and a single lifetime dose of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine are recommended for adults with chronic cardiovascular disease.9 Moreover, this recommendation is accepted within the SEC-PRIMARIA project, developed by the Spanish Society of Cardiology to improve the care of cardiology patients by enhancing coordination between primary care and cardiology departments for several conditions, such as ischemic heart disease and heart failure.

Unfortunately, in the real world, the percentage of vaccinated patients with chronic heart disease is low, especially in the case of pneumococcal vaccination, and physicians are largely responsible, mainly because of their lack of awareness about the importance of vaccination in this population.10

Although postmarketing surveillance is the rule, we should not focus as much on seeking additional evidence as on transmitting the concept that vaccination is important for these patients. As the percentage of vaccinated heart disease patients increases, the risk of experiencing complications will decrease. This will undoubtedly lead to a lower risk of hospital admissions and deaths, and as regards the health system, greater sustainability.


V. Barrios has presented papers for Pfizer-Vacunas and has participated in the Vaccination Consensus.

N.P.E. Kadoglou, J. Parissis, P. Seferovic, G. Filippatos.
Vaccination in Heart Failure: an Approach to Improve Outcomes.
Rev Esp Cardiol., 71 (2018), pp. 697-699
P. Ponikowski, A.A. Voors, S.D. Anker, et al.
ESC Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure: The Task Force for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic heart failure of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Developed with the special contribution of the Heart Failure Association (HFA) of the ESC.
Eur J Heart Fail, 18 (2016), pp. 891-975
D.M. Musher, A.M. Rueda, A.S. Kaka, S.M. Mapara.
The association between pneumococcal pneumonia and acute cardiac events.
Clin Infect Dis., 45 (2007), pp. 158-165
R. Gil-Prieto, R. Pascual-Garcia, S. Walter, A. Álvaro-Meca, Á. Gil-De-Miguel.
Risk of hospitalization due to pneumococcal disease in adults in Spain.
The CORIENNE study. Hum Vaccin Immunother., 12 (2016), pp. 1900-1905
B. Sandvall, A.M. Rueda, D.M. Musher.
Long-term survival following pneumococcal pneumonia.
Clin Infect Dis., 56 (2013), pp. 1145-1146
F. González-Romo, V. Barrios.
Why Should We Recommend Pneumococcal Vaccine in Patients With Chronic Heart Diseases?.
Rev Esp Cardiol., 71 (2018), pp. 57-58
D. Weycker, R.A. Farkouh, D.R. Strutton, J. Edelsberg, K.M. Shea, S.I. Pelton.
Rates and costs of invasive pneumococcal disease and pneumonia in persons with underlying medical conditions.
BMC Health Serv Res., 16 (2016), pp. 182
M.J. Bonten, S.M. Huijts, M. Bolkenbaas, et al.
Polysaccharide conjugate vaccine against pneumococcal pneumonia in adults.
N Engl J Med., 372 (2015), pp. 1114-1125
F. Gonzalez-Romo, J.J. Picazo, A. Garcia Rojas, et al.
Consenso sobre la vacunación antineumocócica en el adulto por riesgo de edad y patología de base.
Actualización 2017. Rev Esp Quimioter., 30 (2017), pp. 142-168
M. Doherty, R. Schmidt-Ott, J.I. Santos, et al.
Vaccination of special populations: Protecting the vulnerable.
Vaccine., 34 (2016), pp. 6681-6690
Copyright © 2018. Sociedad Española de Cardiología
Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition)

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