Covid vaccine shown to improve heart failure outcomes

A South Korean study examined the prognosis of heart failure patients according to Covid vaccination status

Max Ryan

June 14, 2024

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  • Heart failure patients who are vaccinated against Covid-19 have an 82% greater likelihood of living longer than those who are not vaccinated, according to new research.

    “Patients with heart failure should be vaccinated against Covid-19 to protect their health,” said study author Dr Kyeong-Hyeon Chun of the National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Republic of Korea. 

    “In this large study of patients with heart failure, Covid-19 vaccination was associated with a lower likelihood of contracting the infection, being admitted to hospital because of heart failure, or dying from any cause during a six-month period compared with remaining unvaccinated.”

    This nationwide, retrospective study in South Korea examined the prognosis of heart failure patients according to Covid vaccination status.

    The study included 651,127 patients aged 18 years or older with heart failure. The average age was 69.5 years and 50% were women. Of the total study population, 538,434 (83%) were defined as vaccinated and 112,693 (17%) as unvaccinated.

    To control for factors that could influence the relationship between vaccination status and outcomes, the researchers performed 1:1 matching of vaccinated and unvaccinated patients according to age, sex, other health conditions, income, and region of residence. This resulted in 73,559 vaccinated patients and 73,559 unvaccinated patients for the comparative analyses.

    The median follow-up was six months. Vaccination was associated with an 82% lower risk of all-cause mortality, a 47% lower risk of hospitalisation for heart failure, and a 13% reduced risk of Covid infection compared with no vaccination.

    Regarding cardiovascular complications, vaccination was associated with significantly lower risks of stroke, myocardial infarction, myocarditis/pericarditis, and venous thromboembolism compared to no vaccination.

    Dr Chun said this was the first analysis of Covid vaccine effectiveness in a large population of heart failure patients, and the first to show a clear benefit from vaccination.

    The research was presented at Heart Failure 2024, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology.

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