Study Finds that Unvaccinated Have a Higher Risk of Heart Attacks after Catching COVID-19

Study Finds that Unvaccinated Have a Higher Risk of Heart Attacks after Catching COVID-19

It is well established that a COVID-19 episode raises a person’s long-term odds of suffering a severe cardiovascular issue, such as a heart attack or a stroke.

However, research released earlier this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that receiving all recommended vaccinations or even some of them may reduce that risk.

Researchers from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York used medical information from more than 1.9 million individuals who contracted COVID-19 between March of 2020 and February of 2022. 13,948 of the 1.9 million patients had a “serious adverse cardiac event,” such as a stroke, heart attack, or another cardiac event; 3,175 of them passed away as a result of the incident.

Overall, the researchers discovered that vaccination, whether complete or partial, was associated with a decrease in cardiac events six months after a case of COVID-19.

After correcting for demographics, comorbidities, and the amount of time since the pandemic started, the researchers discovered that receiving all recommended vaccinations cut the risk of a major cardiac event by approximately 41%, whereas receiving only a portion of the recommended vaccinations cut the risk by about 24%.

The average time of occurrence for individuals who experienced a significant cardiac event was 212 days after the last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 17 days after contracting the virus.

Overall, older men with various underlying medical issues were the group most at risk of experiencing a cardiac episode after COVID, regardless of vaccination status.

The most important risk factor was a history of cardiac events, while other significant risk variables were diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and liver disease.

The study has a few drawbacks. In particular, it was unable to take into consideration reinfections or potential variations from infections caused by various SARS-CoV-2 variants.

But its conclusions corroborate those of earlier studies, including one that used a Korean database and had a similar design.

By considering partly vaccinated patients, it also contributes some fresh information to the research.

The first author of the study, Joy Jiang, said in a statement that the researchers were taken aback by the finding that even a partial immunization reduced the chance of serious cardiac problems. 

She went on to say that “Given the magnitude of SARS-CoV-2 infection over the whole world, we hope that our findings may help improve vaccination rates, especially in people with coexisting conditions.”

Katherine Baldwin

Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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