Heart problems are more common after Covid-19 than after vaccination, study finds

The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is associated with an increased risk of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, confirms ...


The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is associated with an increased risk of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, confirms a large new Israeli study. But the side effect remains rare, and Covid-19 is more likely to cause myocarditis than the vaccine, scientists reported Wednesday.

The research, which is based on electronic health records of approximately two million people aged 16 or older, provides comprehensive insight into the actual incidence of various adverse events following vaccination and infection with the coronavirus.

Although the study is not broken down the risks of myocarditis Depending on age or gender, the median age of people who developed the disease after vaccination was 25, and 19 of the 21 cases were males, the researchers reported.

In addition to myocarditis, the Pfizer vaccine was also associated with an increased risk of lymph node swelling, appendicitis, and shingles, although all three side effects were rare in the study. Coronavirus infection was not associated with these side effects, but it did increase the risk of several potentially serious cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks and blood clots.

“The coronavirus is very dangerous, and it is very dangerous to the human body in many ways,” said Ben Reis, co-author of the new study and director of the Predictive Medicine group of the Computing Health Computing Program. Boston Children’s Hospital.

He added: “If the reason someone has so far hesitated to get the vaccine is fear of this very rare and usually mild adverse event called myocarditis, well, this study shows that this same adverse event is actually associated with a higher risk if you are not vaccinated and are infected.

The data came amid an intense discussion among federal regulators over the risks of myocarditis and pericarditis, which is inflammation of the lining around the heart, in young recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, concerns that most likely led the Food and Drug Administration to negotiate larger pediatric trials with vaccine manufacturers this summer in the hope of adequately assessing the risks before a possible emergency clearance for younger children. Companies are looking at lower doses in children to mitigate some of the risk.

In their review of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, regulators paid close attention to a U.S. healthcare demands database, which found that the risk of disease in vaccinated 16- and 17-year-old boys could be as high as 1. out of 5,000. Database cases were unconfirmed, FDA warned. in an analysis published this week, but they were considered a reasonable estimate of possible risk. Even in the worst-case scenarios of post-vaccination myocarditis and pericarditis modeled by the FDA, the benefits of vaccination still outweigh the risks, according to the analysis.

The study was one of the reasons the FDA said this week that after its approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Pfizer would conduct studies on the risks of myocarditis and pericarditis in people who received the vaccine, including including long-term results for those who become ill after vaccination.

Israel’s vaccination campaign, which relied on the Pfizer vaccine, got off to a rapid start; As of May 24, nearly five million people, or about 55 percent of the country’s population, had received both doses of the vaccine.

The new study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is based on an analysis of electronic health records from Clalit Health Services, the country’s largest HMO.

The researchers assembled a group of about 880,000 people, aged 16 and over, who had been vaccinated on 24 May. To create a control group, they matched each of these individuals to an unvaccinated person who was medically and demographically similar.

“You can think of them as pseudo-twins,” said Dr Ran Balicer, innovation director for Clalit Health Services and lead author of the new study.

Next, the researchers calculated the incidence of 25 different potential adverse events in each group. In a second round of analyzes, they calculated the incidence of the same potential side effects in a group of 170,000 people who tested positive for the coronavirus and in a similar group of uninfected controls.

They found that although myocarditis was rare, it was more common in the vaccinated group than in the unvaccinated group. There were 2.7 more cases of myocarditis per 100,000 people in the vaccinated group, compared to the unvaccinated, the researchers found.

But the risks were even higher for those who had contracted the virus. There were 11 more cases of the disease per 100,000 people infected with the coronavirus, compared to those who were not.

The study provides critical context for understanding the risks and benefits of vaccination, said Dr Brian Feingold, an expert on heart inflammation in children at UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, who said he was responding to calls from parents concerned about the risk of myocarditis.

“And no one is blowing that, but I think you just have to look at it in context,” he said. “These risks related to Covid are higher than the risks related to the vaccine. “

In addition to myocarditis, coronavirus infection was also associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, irregular heartbeats, blood clots in the lungs or legs, kidney damage, and bleeding inside the skull. For every 100,000 infections, there were 25 more heart attacks and 62 cases of blood clots in the lungs, for example.

“When trying to decide whether or not to take the vaccine, one of the things to ask is not only what are the potential adverse events associated with taking the vaccine, but also what I risk when I think about it. Covid -19 as another option, ”said Dr Balicer.

While the study is reassuring, it is important to continue to collect data on myocarditis risks in young men in particular, the scientists said.

“But we are at this hot time,” said Dr. Sean O’Leary, pediatric infectious disease expert at the University of Colorado Medical Campus at Anschutz. “That’s what we have, and the benefits always seem to outweigh the risks. “

In a recent study, which has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, the researchers calculated that boys aged 12 to 17 were about six times more likely to develop myocarditis after infection with the virus than after receiving one of the mRNA vaccines.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Heart problems are more common after Covid-19 than after vaccination, study finds
Heart problems are more common after Covid-19 than after vaccination, study finds
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