A large study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that people infected with COVID infection face a higher risk of myocarditis and other inflammatory heart conditions than those who are vaccinated against the disease, according to CNBC.
The CDC researchers found that the risk of myocarditis, pericarditis, and the multisystem inflammatory syndrome was higher among people infected by COVID than those who received Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. However, these heart conditions are rare after infection and even after vaccination, according to the health agency.
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium), according to Mayo Clinic. The inflammation can reduce the heart’s ability to pump and cause rapid or irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
There has also been an elevated risk of myocarditis and pericarditis after the second dose of Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, particularly in males aged between 12 and 17. However, this group also had a higher risk of myocarditis and pericarditis after Covid infection than after vaccination, per CDC.
The CDC researchers found that among teenage boys, the rate of myocarditis or pericarditis after infection was at least 50 cases per 100,000 people compared to 22 cases per 100,000 after the second dose of the vaccine.
In addition, overall, the risk of heart conditions after COVID infection was 5.6 times higher compared to the second dose of the vaccine. The risk was up to 69 times higher after COVID infection compared to the first dose.
The team examined the electronic health records of over 15 million people ages 5 and older from January 2021 through January 2022. They studied the risk of developing myocarditis and pericarditis after a COVID infection compared to the first and second doses of Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines.
The risk of a heart condition after COVID infection was 2 to 115 times higher compared to vaccination.
In February, the CDC’s committee of vaccine experts found that Moderna’s second dose was associated with a higher risk of myocarditis than Pfizer’s.
Canadian health officials have found that the rate of myocarditis was 5 times higher for men ages 18 to 24 after receiving the second dose of Moderna compared to Pfizer.
However, one CDC survey found that “the overwhelming majority of people who developed myocarditis after vaccination recovered fully and most of them did not report any effect on their quality of life. The CDC survey was presented at the February meeting.