COVID-19 cardiac risk still far outweighs that of vaccines: cardiologists

Nearly three years into the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more studies are showing links between COVID-19 and heart-related problems, especially among young people.

A study published February 7 in the scientific journal Nature Medicine found that rates of conditions such as heart failure and stroke significantly higher in people who have recovered from COVID-19 than in people who have never had the virus. A study found that even those who experienced mild cases of COVID-19 were at risk.

“Overall, when you zoom out and look at all the evidence, it looks like COVID, in principle, increases the risk of the disease developing cardiac complications, regardless of its severity,” says cardiologist Christopher Rabos. CTV news channel on Feb. 11.

In September of last year, Study led by Cedars-Sinai Hospital Researchers in Los Angeles found that the virus was associated with an increase in heart attacks in all age groups, but the greatest increase was seen between the ages of 25 and 44. Heart attack rates in this age group increased by 29.9% for him, compared to 19.6% for the 45-64 age group and 13.7% for those aged 65 and over.

Ravos explained that the risk of developing “widespread[cardiac]symptoms” after being infected with COVID-19 varies by age group.

“We see more heart attacks and more traditional coronary artery disease in older people,” he said. ”

Scientists are still learning about how COVID-19 affects the heart, but Labos says many of the heart complications associated with COVID-19 infection are heart attacks and problems with the heart’s electrical impulses. explained that they tend to fall into the category of

“So there are more blood clots and heart attacks. But there also seems to be a disturbance in the electrical system, and many people are complaining of arrhythmias, palpitations, and an inability to regulate their heart rate,” he told CTV. The news channel on Feb. 22.

Despite mounting evidence that even mild COVID-19 cases can damage the cardiovascular system, some continue to argue that the COVID-19 vaccine poses greater health risks. I’m here.

Vaccine misinformation

Earlier this month, European news agency AFP debunked rumors Photos circulating online show massive bronchial clots caused by the COVID-19 vaccine. The photo showed a blood clot in the shape of the patient’s right bronchial tree, but a reverse image search by AFP revealed that it was pre-pandemic and had nothing to do with the vaccine.

Then there is the February 15 letter from the Florida Surgeon General to the Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In an official Florida Department of Health document, state surgeon General Joseph Radapo said that Florida Negative health impacts surge Relevant to vaccination against COVID-19.

“There was a 1,700% increase in reporting after the release of the COVID-I9 vaccine, compared to a 400% increase in vaccine administration during the same period,” Radapo wrote, without specifying when the reports occurred. . was held. “Reports of life-threatening conditions increased by 4,400 percent in him.”

Lapad also said in a “recent study” that found that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were associated with “excessive risk of serious adverse events” such as blood clotting disorders, acute heart injury, Bell’s palsy and encephalitis. quoted. “The risk was 1 in 550 for him,” he said, but didn’t mention the specific risk that the figure refers to.

Dr. Peter Liu, chief scientific officer and vice president of research at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, said in a telephone interview Thursday with that he reviewed the letter and pinpointed credible evidence to support many. said it was not possible. of the claims it made.

He pointed out that the letter outlined the increase in reports of vaccine-related side effects only in percentage terms, omitting absolute numbers and an explanation of how those percentages were calculated.

“Unfortunately, interpretations of all this information are colored, and this creates a lot of misinformation. It shows everything and makes conclusions that are very difficult to verify, which may cause concern for many.”

vaccine vs. COVID-19

While it is true that some COVID-19 mRNA vaccines have been associated with myocarditis (fatal inflammation of the heart muscle) in rare cases, studies have shown that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks of inflammation and infection with the virus. is shown. There is a much higher risk of inflammation compared to vaccines.

That is also Liu’s professional opinion. Liu studied data from the Canadian Vaccine Injury Assistance Program and data from vaccine side effects studies conducted in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. He is also part of a team tracking the long-term outcomes of his 200 patients who reported cardiac symptoms after vaccination. Almost all of the patients in that group who had myocarditis after vaccination recovered, and no one died from this condition.

“From what we’ve published and what we’ve studied, we’ve certainly seen these cases related to heart complications, but they’re very rare,” he said. .

Of the 97 million COVID-19 vaccines administered in Canada since December 14, 2020, 10,582 serious adverse events were reported. This is a rate of approximately 0.01%. This data, including the breakdown of serious adverse events, is published by the Government of Canada.

“So the general risk is very low,” Liu said.

Liu said there is evidence that the incidence of myocarditis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination is about two to three times higher in men aged 12 to 39 than in the general population.

“This is a very interesting kind of subgroup, with a high incidence and about 2-3 times higher risk compared to the general population, probably related to the way the young male’s immune system processes the vaccine. I am,” he said.

But even men aged 12 to 29 have a higher risk of developing myocarditis after COVID-19, up to five times higher, he said.

Given all that scientists and cardiologists have learned during the pandemic, Dr. Chris Overgard, a fellow in the Department of Cardiology at the University of Toronto, agrees with Liu that the balance between benefits and risks still lies with vaccines. increase.

“You think it’s disingenuous to say the vaccine is perfect, don’t you think? It’s not,” Overgaard told in a Feb. 23 telephone interview. That’s a very good thing…so the risk of severe heart disease from COVID-19 is far greater than the risk of the vaccine. ”

– With files from writer Tom Yun

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