Myocarditis in SARS-CoV-2 infection Vs COVID-19 vaccination: A systematic review and meta-analysis




Excerpts from:

Myocarditis risk is seven times greater with COVID-19 than vaccines

Heart inflammation can lead to blood clots in your heart that cause stroke or heart attack, and can be fatal.

by Karen Hawthorne

Oct 19 2022

Read Time


Penn State scientists have discovered that the risk of myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, is seven times higher for people who’ve been infected by COVID-19 than from getting the vaccine. Shortness of breath, chest pains and rapid or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias) are common symptoms of myocarditis. The condition can resolve on its own or with treatment, but it also can lead to lasting damage to your heart.

Heart damage that lasts

As the Mayo Clinic notes , severe myocarditis weakens your heart muscle and electrical system so that it can’t beat properly, therefore your body doesn’t get sufficient blood circulated. In those cases, heart inflammation can lead to blood clots in your heart that cause stroke or heart attack, and can be fatal.

Myocarditis can be triggered by a viral infection, a drug reaction or a general inflammatory condition. It has been labelled as one the complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

“Our findings show that the risk of myocarditis from being infected by COVID-19 is far greater than from getting the vaccine,” Dr. Navya Voleti, study author and resident physician in the Penn State department of medicine, said in a news release on the findings . “Moving forward, it will be important to monitor the potential long-term effects in those who develop myocarditis.”

The study, published in Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine , is the largest to date that has looked at the risk of myocarditis as a result of having COVID-19 compared to inflammation following COVID-19 vaccinations. It involved a systematic review and meta-analysis of 22 studies published from December 2019 through to May 2022, investigating almost 58 million people who reported heart trouble. These people belonged to one of two groups: the 55.5 million who were vaccinated against COVID-19 compared to those who were not vaccinated (vaccination group), and the 2.5 million who contracted the virus compared to those who did not contract the virus (COVID-19 group). The median age of those studied was 49 years and 49 per cent were men.

Karen Hawthorne is a Toronto-based writer.

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