Heart Problems After Vaccination in U.S. Are Uncommon and Short-Lived, Researchers Say
For every million Americans immunized with a coronavirus vaccine, about 60 develop temporary heart problems, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Network.
The complications were all short lived, the researchers found. And these heart problems are much more common in patients who develop Covid-19, outside experts have noted.
Analyzing the medical records of just over 2 million people who had received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine until May 2021, the new study found 20 cases of myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, and 37 cases of pericarditis, inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart.
The hospitalized patients were discharged after just a few days and none died.
The incidence of myocarditis in the study, at 10 cases per million vaccinated, is higher than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate of 4.8 cases per million, suggesting there may be more cases than those reported in the federal database for follow-up. called adverse events after vaccinations.
“We find that these adverse events result in very short and unremarkable hospital stays,” said Dr. Jeremy Faust, an emergency physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston who was not involved in the study. “The same cannot be said for hospitalizations for Covid-19 in this age group or any other age group so far.”
“When people are hospitalized for Covid, the consequences are much more serious,” added Dr Faust, who compared myocarditis rates after vaccination to those of Covid-19 patients.
The researchers, along with the Providence Health System, assessed medical records from 40 hospitals in Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Los Angeles County, California.
They found that myocarditis developed a median of 3.5 days after vaccination, mainly after the second dose, and in people with a median age of 36 years. Three quarters of the 20 cases involved men.
The 19 patients who were admitted to hospital were discharged after a median of two days. About three weeks after vaccination, 13 patients had recovered from their symptoms and the remaining seven were improving.
Pericarditis affected older patients, at a median age of 59, and later, about 20 days after vaccination, the researchers found. Pericarditis was also more common in men. Of the 37 identified cases, 13 were admitted to hospital; the median stay was one day.
A separate study, published online last week, suggested that the incidence of myocarditis in boys aged 12 to 17 with Covid-19 was 876 per million; in girls of the same age group with Covid-19, the incidence was 213 cases per million.
The study has not yet been peer reviewed or published in a scientific journal.
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