Heart complications have been increasingly connected to people who have contracted COVID-19, but other heart problems have been tied to the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, according to a study by federal health officials.
But the risk of heart problems was significantly higher from a prior COVID infection compared to a COVID-19 vaccination, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in its new study published Friday.
“These findings support continued use of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines among all eligible persons aged” 5 and older, the CDC noted in its report. The two mRNA COVID vaccines included in the study were from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
“Cardiac complications, particularly myocarditis and pericarditis, have been associated with” both COVID infections and vaccinations, according to the CDC. Myocarditis involves inflammation of the heart muscle, while pericarditis “is inflammation of the outer lining of the heart.”
Overall, the study involved about 15.2 million people ages 5 and older. The CDC gathered data from 40 health care systems across the nation from January 1, 2021, to January 31, 2022.
For COVID vaccines, the study tracked incidences of both heart conditions following first, second and “unspecified” doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. The group with the highest risk of heart problems following a mRNA COVID vaccine was teenage boys ages 12-17. – The CDC
“The incidence of cardiac outcomes after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination was highest for males aged 12–17 years after the second vaccine dose; however, within this demographic group, the risk for cardiac outcomes was 1.8–5.6 times as high after SARS-CoV-2 infection than after the second vaccine dose,” the CDC said in the report.
CDC data show that boys ages 5 to 11, incidences involving myocarditis or pericarditis were 12.6 to 17.6 cases per 100,000 after infection. But for males ages 12 to 17, cases of myocarditis and pericarditis were 50.1 to 64.9 cases per 100,000 after infection.
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