TODAY

TODAY   |  September 04, 2013

Should you get the new flu vaccine?

A lot of medical news may be flooding your feeds lately, with topics including heart disease, exercise and flu vaccines. NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman and Dr. Adam Ofer, director of gynecology at Norwalk Hospital, analyze the news.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> up of the biggest health headlines you need to know about from a new flu vaccine to why shorter maybe better when it comes to exercise.

>> yes.

>> all right. dr. nancy snyderman is our medical editor and he is the director of gynecologist at norwalk hospital in connecticut.

>> first of all, a new flu vaccine ?

>> every year there's a new flu vaccine because the world health organization looks at the viruss sweeping the globe. when it's summer here it's winter somewhere else and we get a heads up and they put together a vaccine that looks very effective. it has four components to it and a reminder, if you haven't seen the signs all over whatever city you're living in, now is the time to get your flu shot because when you get it early your body has a chance to build up it's antibodies and then you're safe.

>> is that the same as the nasal spray as well.

>> it's still one of those things where you get it and it only cover ace certain percentage of the flus out there.

>> it's not completely effective. we all think if you get the flu vaccine you're not going to get the flu. depending on your age and health it maybe 50% effective. if you're getting flu symptoms within the first 48 hours you have a window to start antiviral treatment and make it shorter and not as bad.

>> but the flu vaccine does not give you the flu. let's put that one to bed.

>> we hear that all day long.

>> old bad wives tale.

>> pregnant women are afraid to take it.

>> they should get it. the very young, the very old and pregnant women because then you protect your baby when your baby is born.

>> another one that jumped out at us this week. new numbers from the cdc. at least 200,000 deaths each year by cardiovascular disease were preventable?

>> these maybe conservative numbers. one out of five americans die of cardiovascular disease . and what you do may predispose you for later. i'm not a big believer in screening but we have to get our act together and put our money where our mouth is when it comes to eating right and getting exercise and not smoking, all the normal stuff. when you think that stroke and heart disease still kills more people than anything else and we haven't nailed it yet, i think it's a real indictment of american society and how we eat and how we don't take good care of ourselves.

>> is there a certain kind of cardiovascular disease that's more presentable?

>> they define preventable disease as people that die of stroke or heart or attack under the age of 75. we all have to die of something but to die of stroke or heart attack is not okay. we look at aspirin therapy, blood pressure control, cholesterol control, smoking cessation and exercise and heat healthy. you can be doing proactively but you have to take control of your own health and do it.

>> there's a couple of things you can do. know your waist circumference. for women less than 35 inches. for men, 40 inches. know your blood pressure . get your blood pressure done free any pharmacy and urinate into a cup and get it dip sticked for your sugar. if you're spilling sugar that might be indicative of the fact that you have diabetes. those things even for a 20-year-old can tell you about what's happening on the inside of your body.

>> exercise a huge component for cardiovascular health. it's the short, high intensity workouts that are better for you in the long run than the long cardio workout.

>> i love it. love the study because it reaffirms what i tell patients all day long. i have patients tell me i don't have time for 30 minutes of exercise t kids, the dinner, whatever. but i watch them circle around my parking lot for 20 minutes and get closer to the door. park the car in the farther spot and run into building, run up the stairs. you got three minutes of exercise. this study shows you that for every minute of high intensity exercise like running up the stairs, you'll be a quarter of a pound less than the person that didn't do it. it doesn't sound like a lot but it adds up during the day. take the stairs. use your energy.

>> doctors don't use elevators. first of all they're too slow but the second thing is we know that's where we can get our exercise in during a crazy day. you do it all the time, you walk, you ride your bike. anything that has gravity that's moving your body parts in short bursts, just do it. our mothers weren't fat because they were moving all the time.

>> house work is exercise.

>> they never sat down at a meal.

>> they never sat down. slow walks is not enough. i walk, i walk. your heart needs to be racing. you need to be sweating. when you sweat and your heart races you release chemicals that make you healthier.