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The heart of the matter: COVID-19 is far more dangerous

COVID-19 infections more likely to cause heart problems versus vaccinations.
Written by Nompilo Gwala

A study has revealed that COVID-19 infection is more likely to cause cardiac arrest or heart problems – as opposed to vaccinations.

The study, triggered by reports of numerous suspected cases of myocarditis and pericarditis following vaccination, was conducted in England recently. Participants, aged 16 and older, were monitored for a 28-day period and received their vaccines between 1 December 2020 and 24 August 2021.

Researchers discovered that there was an increased risk of myocarditis which was associated with the first dose of AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines. It was also linked with the first and second doses of the Moderna vaccine and after a COVID-19 positive test.

COVID-19 infection carries higher risks

The study showed that there is a greater risk of pericarditis, cardiac arrhythmia and myocarditis after being infected with COVID than after vaccination. Among every 100 000 patients who get the vaccine, only 1 to 5 will likely develop myocarditis who would not have developed it in the first place.

It also revealed that heart disease induced by the vaccines, lasted no more than seven days. It also revealed that only 1 615 patients experienced temporary myocarditis.

Myocarditis, pericarditis and cardiac arrhythmia explained

Myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle; pericarditis is the inflammation of the lining outside the heart; and cardiac arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat.

Of the more than 38 million vaccinated individuals included in the study, a total of 1 615  were hospitalised, or died from, myocarditis either before or after vaccination.  Close to 400 of these occurred in the 1-28 days post any dose of vaccine. Of those admitted or who had died, 22.2% had tested positive for COVID-19, with almost 18% before vaccination.

COVID-19 and heart problems

COVID-19 can damage heart muscle and affect heart function.

Researchers at the John Hopkins University list a number of reasons for this. The cells in the heart have angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2) receptors where the coronavirus attaches before entering cells. Heart damage can also be due to high levels of inflammation circulating in the body. As the body’s immune system fights off the virus, the inflammatory process can damage some healthy tissues, including the heart.

COVID-19 infection also affects the inner surfaces of veins and arteries. This can can cause blood vessel inflammation, damage to very small vessels and blood clots. All of these may compromise blood flow to the heart or other parts of the body.

“Severe COVID-19 is a disease that affects endothelial cells, which form the lining of the blood vessels,” said US cardiologist, Wendy Post. – Health-e News 

 

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Nompilo Gwala

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