According to a recent study by Penn State College of Medicine scientists, the risk of developing myocarditis — or inflammation of the heart muscle — is seven times higher with a COVID-19 infection than with the COVID-19 vaccine. Patients with myocarditis suffer from varied symptoms depending on their current cardiovascular health, the severity of inflammation, and other factors. They often experience chest pains, shortness of breath, or an irregular heartbeat. In severe cases, myocarditis can lead to heart failure and death.
Myocarditis, also known as inflammatory cardiomyopathy, is inflammation of the heart muscle. It is caused by the body’s immune system in response to an infection or some other trigger, such as a vaccine, a reaction to medication, or exposure to heavy metals.
“Our findings show that the risk of myocarditis from being infected by COVID-19 is far greater than from getting the vaccine,” said Dr. Navya Voleti. “Moving forward, it will be important to monitor the potential long-term effects in those who develop myocarditis.” Voleti is a resident physician in the Department of Medicine at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
Myocarditis is one of the many complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection. (SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19 disease.) Although it has been demonstrated that vaccines reduce severe COVID-19 symptoms, heart complications have been linked with mRNA COVID-19 vaccination — especially myocarditis in teenage boys. However, thus far, large studies had not characterized the relative risk of myocarditis due to vaccines and infections in detail.
Therefore, the Penn State team conducted the largest study to date on the risk of developing myocarditis as a result of having the coronavirus vs. experiencing inflammation following COVID-19 vaccination. The researchers compared patients with COVID-19 — vaccinated and unvaccinated — to those without the virus. They found the risk of myocarditis was 15 times higher in COVID-19 patients, regardless of vaccination status, compared to individuals who did not contract the virus.
Next, the researchers separately compared the rates of myocarditis in those who received the vaccines to those in unvaccinated individuals. According to the findings, the rates of myocarditis in people who were vaccinated against COVID-19 were only twofold higher than in unvaccinated people.
Based on all the findings, the investigators concluded that the risk of myocarditis due to COVID-19 was seven times higher than the risk related to the vaccines.
Scientists conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 22 studies published worldwide from December 2019 through May 2022. The studies included nearly 58 million patients who reported cardiac complications and 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).
In the vaccination group, the research team separately compared the risk of myocarditis for various COVID-19 vaccines, including mRNA (Pfizer, Moderna), Novavax, AstraZeneca, and Johnson and Johnson. The median age of the study population was 49 years; 49% were men; and the median follow-up time after infection or COVID-19 vaccination was 28 days.
The investigators found that among those diagnosed with myocarditis after receiving the vaccine or having COVID-19, the majority (61%) were men. Of patients diagnosed with myocarditis in both vaccination and COVID-19 groups, 1.07% were hospitalized and 0.015% died.
“COVID-19 infection and the related vaccines both pose a risk for myocarditis. However, the relative risk of heart inflammation induced by COVID-19 infection is substantially greater than the risk posed by the vaccines,” said Dr. Paddy Ssentongo. He is the lead author of the study and a resident physician in the Department of Medicine at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. “We hope our findings will help mitigate vaccine hesitancy and increase vaccine uptake.”
Reference: “Myocarditis in SARS-CoV-2 infection vs. COVID-19 vaccination: A systematic review and meta-analysis” by Navya Voleti, Surya Prakash Reddy and Paddy Ssentongo, 29 August 2022, Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine.
Surya Reddy from Osmania Medical College also contributed to this research.
The researchers declare no conflicts of interest or specific funding for this research.
How is it possible for the risk of myocarditis to be 7x greater from COVID-19 than vaccines when the paper clearly states that 1) the risk of myocarditis was 15 times higher in COVID-19 patients, regardless of vaccination status, compared to individuals who did not contract the virus, and 2) the rates of myocarditis in people who were vaccinated against COVID-19 were only twofold higher than in unvaccinated people. These results imply, not that the risk of myocarditis to be 7x greater from COVID-19 than vaccines, but either 1) the risk of myocarditis is the same in either vaccinated or unvaccinated that contract the virus or 2) the vaccinated group has double the incidence of myocarditis compared to the non-vaccinated. The results are, in fact, the direct opposite of what the headline states.
The big problem with many of these studies is when they declare that a person has been vaccinated. Usually they consider a person unvaccinated until two weeks after vaccination. This skews results in a bad way.
@Karl, I agree with you that there is a problem with the statement in this article that “the rates of myocarditis in people who were vaccinated against COVID-19 were only twofold higher than in unvaccinated people”.
The study described at the link actually said “We found that the risk of myocarditis increased by a factor of 2 and 15 after vaccination and infection, respectively. This translates into more than a 7-fold higher risk in the infection group compared to the vaccination group”.
The writer of this article should instead have said that “the rates of myocarditis in people who were vaccinated against COVID-19 were only twofold higher than in PEOPLE NOT INFECTED WITH THE VIRUS”.
Hi. Your generalization is dangerous. That’s not science. It’s similar telling us the risk of Breast cancer and including the entire population vs woman over 50. Now do this analysis again and include only males from 12-30. I challenge you do this and make sure to refer to the recent study from the drs from Harvard, Oxford, John Hopkins and other reputable organizations. Such study showed a net negative for this age group ( and beyond)!
I would go as far as to say it’s misinformation and you should be held accountable if anyone relies on this.
Thank god, when my son suffered from myocarditis 3 days after the second shot i ran to the ER when he complained before they admitted an issue. And now you put this out. DANGEROUS!
This is entirely flawed in countless ways. On a very base level it is not logical to compare older people with young people, we know their relative risk factor from the virus is entirely different.
A thinking person could care less how many millions are analyzed if the logic is flawed- point blank, it’s obvious this study was designed to deceive.
The vaccine uniquely damages those young healthy people- those who respond far better to the virus!
Just know that alone.. forget the fairytale statistics doing jumping jacks so as to obfuscate reality.
It’s very sad to watch these relativists push propaganda, these are NOT the doctors we once knew, these are activists!
It’s obvious the establishment doesn’t want to say, “we recommend vaccinating only young people with pre-existing conditions”
Until then CORRUPT UNIVERSITIES, like Oxford and Penn State, are selecting only the young and naïve so they can play stupid WHEN they catch a lawsuit!