New study confirms link between COVID-19 vaccines and serious heart problems
By Cassie B.
New analysis that was published in the American Journal of Cardiology highlights the connection between the currently available COVID-19 vaccines and a higher risk of myopericarditis.
The study’s authors wanted to explore the relationship between the vaccines and heart problems in light of the many reports of people experiencing myocarditis and other heart problems following Covid vaccination. However, some vaccine defenders have been quick to dismiss these cases and claim that they must have been related to other illnesses that were previously undiagnosed prior to vaccination. The study notes that more than 1,226 cases of myocarditis had been reported following vaccination with an mRNA vaccine as of June 11, 2021.
They tracked data from more than 268,000 adults who had received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine – either the two-dose mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine – in Massachusetts between August 2020 and May 2021. They compared this data to a control group of data pertaining to 235,000 of the same people in 2018 and 2019, long before they had been given any doses of the vaccine.
The researchers looked at the electronic health records of the patients involved in the study to identify changes in their health or their need for healthcare services after different COVID-19 surges in the area and vaccination.
The group of researchers found 12 cases of myopericarditis among the study participants who were vaccinated. Three of these cases emerged following the patient’s first dose of the vaccine, while seven came following the patient’s second dose. The remaining two cases showed up after the patient received a single-dose vaccine. The control group, in contrast, only had five cases of myopericarditis.
The age-adjusted incidence rate of myopericarditis in men was higher among those who were vaccinated than in the study’s control group. However, this was not the case among the women studied. The researchers believe that this could be related to the protective effects of the hormone estradiol in women.
“Previous research has demonstrated that there are slightly higher rates of myopericarditis of any cause in men than in women,” the researchers wrote. “One proposed potential mechanism for this difference in incidence is that the higher levels of estradiol in women may confer a cardioprotective effect. If COVID-19 vaccination is a causative factor in the development of myopericarditis in some people, the same mechanisms may be making men more susceptible than women after COVID-19 vaccination.”
The study’s authors said that their findings reaffirmed the rise in the diagnosis of myopericarditis in men, especially those aged 25 to 44, following COVID-19 vaccination.
What is myocarditis?
Myocarditis is an inflammation that involves the heart muscle, or myocardium. It can diminish the heart’s ability to pump and lead to rapid or irregular heart rhythms known as arrhythmias. Myocarditis can be caused by an infection, a reaction to a medication or drug, or part of a general inflammatory condition.
The signs and symptoms include fatigue, rapid or irregular heart beats, shortness of breath and chest pain. In its more severe forms, myocarditis weakens the heart and prevents the rest of the body from getting enough blood. This can cause clots to form within the heart that lead to a heart attack or stroke. It can be treated when caught early enough, although it does not always have symptoms.
Unfortunately, with the vaccine now being pushed on increasingly younger age groups, we could well see even more cases of myocarditis. It is believed to be behind at least some of the recent high-profile incidents involving athletes collapsing on the field, and it is important for anyone who experiences the symptoms of myocarditis to get checked immediately – especially if they have had a COVID-19 vaccine.
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