New analysis on the risk for myocarditis or pericarditis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination
Reviewed by Emily Henderson, B.Sc. Nov 1 2022
A comprehensive review and meta-analysis of published research confirm that young adults (40 years old and younger) have a slightly elevated risk for myocarditis or pericarditis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination. The analysis is reported in a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, published by Elsevier.
Our study analyzes data to identify who might be at high risk for myocarditis/pericarditis after COVID-19 vaccination and validates the rare adverse reaction in adults under 40.”
Chenyu Sun, MD, MSc, Lead Investigator, AMITA Health Saint Joseph Hospital Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
Key findings include:
- A second vaccine dose is associated with a greater risk of the cardiovascular reaction than the first dose.
- The increased risk is only associated with mRNA (e.g., mRNA-1273 and BNT162b2 – the latter linked to a slightly lower risk than the former), but not other vaccine types (e.g., Corona-Vac.).
- While males are more likely to develop myocarditis/pericarditis (established by research prior to the pandemic), female susceptibility increases after the COVID-19 vaccine.
- The incidence of myocarditis/pericarditis for those infected with SARS-CoV-2 is higher than it is after vaccination.
Dr. Sun pointed out, “When myocarditis or pericarditis develop after a COVID-19 vaccination, the symptoms are usually less severe and largely self-remitting compared with other cases. As a clinician, I strongly recommend that people get a COVID 19 vaccine unless there are absolute contraindications such as known allergies. The benefits and harms must be carefully assessed to determine the best management option for patients who are in the high risk-group.”
The comprehensive literature search identified 1,123 relevant published papers. Of these the investigators selected 11 studies on COVID-19 vaccination and the risk of myocarditis or pericarditis that met their rigorous criteria; eight of them compared the incidence of myocarditis or pericarditis before and after COVID-19 vaccination and three analyzed the effect of different doses of vaccination on the incidence of myocarditis or pericarditis. Based on data on more than 58 million participants in these studies, the investigators analyzed the effects of different sexes, ages, regions, vaccination types, and doses on the risk of myocarditis or pericarditis.
Gao, J., et al. (2022) A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of the Association Between SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination and Myocarditis or Pericarditis. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2022.09.002.