How COVID-19 and its vaccine affect your heart health

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In recent research conducted by Cedars-Sinai, scientists have found a connection between a serious heart issue and COVID-19.

Interestingly, they’ve also discovered a new, though smaller, link between this heart condition and the COVID-19 vaccine.

This heart problem is known as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS for short. It’s a disorder that mostly affects young women of childbearing age and involves the nervous system.

The main sign of POTS is when your heartbeat speeds up significantly—by over 30 beats per minute or goes above 120 beats per minute—soon after standing up.

People with this condition might feel dizzy, faint, or extremely tired. In more severe cases, they could also have migraines, feel overly sweaty, need to urinate frequently, feel anxious, or experience shaking.

The study looked into the health records of 284,592 people who received the COVID-19 vaccine and 12,460 patients who had COVID-19, all within the Cedars-Sinai Health System between 2020 and 2022.

The researchers found that, although the risk of developing POTS was higher after getting the vaccine, it was still much less common than developing POTS after catching COVID-19.

In fact, the research suggests that if you’ve had COVID-19, you’re five times more likely to get POTS than if you’ve been vaccinated against the virus.

One key takeaway from this study is that despite the slight risk of developing POTS after vaccination, getting vaccinated is still the best defense against COVID-19 and reduces the chance of getting POTS compared to catching the virus itself.

The study also highlighted that people were more likely to be diagnosed with POTS within 90 days after getting vaccinated or infected by COVID-19, compared to the 90 days before either event.

This suggests that both the disease and the vaccine can trigger the condition, although it’s much rarer after vaccination.

It’s important to note that the study has its limitations, but the researchers hope their findings will help improve the discussion around COVID-19 vaccines and the disease itself.

They stress that while there’s a potential link between the vaccine and POTS, the risk of developing POTS is significantly higher after having COVID-19. Therefore, vaccination remains a critical tool in preventing the disease and its complications.

This research, led by Alan C. Kwan and his team, was published in Nature Cardiovascular Research. It sheds light on the relationship between COVID-19, its vaccine, and the development of POTS.

The hope is that this new information will contribute to a better understanding of the vaccine’s benefits and risks, helping everyone make informed decisions about their health.

If you care about heart disease, please read studies that herbal supplements could harm your heart rhythm, and how eating eggs can help reduce heart disease risk.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies that apple juice could benefit your heart health, and results showing yogurt may help lower the death risks in heart disease.

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