Study: COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Decrease Risk of Death for Those With Heart Failure

Results also show that no association with an increased frequency of myocarditis, venous thromboembolism, or worsening HF in these individuals.

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines were linked with a decreased risk of death in individuals with heart failure (HF), according to the results of a study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2022.

Additionally, the results showed that the vaccines were not associated with an increased risk of myocarditis, venous thromboembolism, or worsening HF.

“Our results indicate that [HF] patients should be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters,” Caroline Sindet-Pedersen of Herlev and Gentofe Hospital in Hellerup, Denmark, said in a statement.

“COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be important for preventing morbidity and mortality in vulnerable patient populations,” she said. “Thus, studies emphasizing the safety of these vaccines are essential to reassure those who might be hesitant and ensure continued uptake of vaccinations.”

Patients with HF who contract COVID-19 are at an increased risk of hospitalization, need for mechanical ventilation, and death, but vaccinations have reduced the risk of serious illness.

Investigators study aimed to determine if there were possible cardiovascular adverse effects from mRNA vaccines in individuals with HF.

In the study, investigators included a total of 50,893 individuals who were unvaccinated and had HF in 2019, and 50,893 individuals with HF in 2021 who were vaccinated with either the BNT162B2 or mRNA-1273 COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

Each individual was matched for age, duration of HF, and sex. The median age was aged 74 years, and 35% were women. The median duration of HF was 4.1 years,

Investigators followed individuals for 90 days for all-cause mortality, myocarditis, venous thromboembolism, and worsening HF, starting from the date of the second vaccination for the 2021 group and the same date in 2019 for the unvaccinated group.

They compared the risk of adverse outcomes in both groups after standardizing for admission with HF less than 90 days before the first date of follow-up, age, atrial fibrillation, cancer, diabetes, HF duration, ischemic heart disease, sex, and use of HF medications .

Standardization is a way for investigators to find a better casual interpretation of results form an observational study, Sindet-Pedersen said.

Among 101,786 individuals with HF, investigators found that receiving an mRNA vaccine was not associated with an increased risk of myocarditis, venous thromboembolism, or worsening HF. Additionally, there was an association with a decreased risk of all-cause mortality showing that there was a significantly lower risk for all-cause mortality in 2021 compared with 2019.

The standardized risk of all-cause mortality within 90 days was 2.2% in the vaccinated cohort and 2.6% in the non-vaccinated cohort.

The standardized risk of worsening HF within 90 days was 1.1% for both cohorts. There were no significant differences between the groups for myocarditis or thromboembolism.

“The study suggests that there should be no concern about cardiovascular [adverse outcomes] from mRNA vaccines in heart failure patients. In addition, the results point to a beneficial effect of vaccination on mortality,” Sindet-Pedersen said.

Reference

COVID mRNA vaccines are safe in patients with heart failure. News release. EurekAlert. August 22, 2022. Accessed August 22, 2022. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/962234