(WYTV) — We talk about the flu season and many people will shrug, not very worried, but for some, the flu can actually threaten their hearts.
A new study at Ohio State University has found a link between cardiac complications and the flu.
Some of us have a common genetic mutation, that our bodies cannot produce a certain protein. Without this protein, the flu is more likely to infect the heart and cause what’s called fibrosis.
“Think of it in terms of just like a scar. So if you’ve ever had a cut and you get a scar afterwards, there’s some fibrosis there in the skin. The same type of thing can happen in the lung or in the heart,” said Heart Specialist Dr. Eric Adkins.
This could be what causes some serious heart trouble in severe flu cases.
If doctors know a patient has this gene mutation and is missing the protein it makes, they might be able to tailor their medical therapy specifically for that patient.
Millions around the world have this gene mutation, about 20% are of Chinese descent and 4% are of European.