Unvaccinated individuals with heart problems up to nine times more likely to die from Covid-19 | Our news

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Unvaccinated individuals with heart problems up to nine times more likely to die from Covid-19

Unvaccinated individuals with heart problems up to nine times more likely to die or suffer serious complications from Covid-19, new research shows.

Combining evidence from 110 previous Covid-19 studies, researchers from Barts Health NHS Trust and Queen Mary University of London found that unvaccinated people who contract Covid-19 are up to nine times more likely to suffer serious outcomes – including death, lung failure, admission to intensive care and kidney problems – if they already have high blood pressure, diabetes or major heart damage. The research serves as another reminder of the benefits of getting a Covid-19 vaccine, and a booster, when offered.

Published in the journal Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine , the study looked at almost 49,000 unvaccinated patients, and identified multiple predictors of more severe Covid-19 and worse outcomes in this group compared to people who are vaccinated. The research found that showing signs of heart muscle damage (myocardial injury) at the point of hospital admission was associated with a nine-fold increase in likelihood of death. Patients who had these heart issues also had higher chances of developing other complications, including severe lung failure (acute respiratory distress syndrome) and acute kidney injury, and required higher rates of intensive care admission and invasive mechanical ventilation.

The researchers also found that unvaccinated individuals with pre-existing high blood pressure, diabetes or heart artery disease had a two- to three-fold increased risk of death, and up to 2.5-fold increased risk of other Covid-19 related complications. When comparing the three medical conditions, individuals with diabetes were at the highest risk of developing severe lung failure. Prior to the emergence of Covid-19, these conditions were already known to be common predictors of heart attack and stroke.

Dr Sher May Ng, primary author of the study who works at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, part of Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “These findings can help us identify unvaccinated individuals who are at a higher risk of worse outcomes, even without special tests. This is particularly relevant where healthcare resources are limited but the proportion of unvaccinated individuals remains high.”

Dr Ajay Gupta, another study author and senior clinical lecturer at Queen Mary University of London said: “These findings present a strong case for these at-risk groups to be prioritised for vaccinations and other preventative measures. This is especially true in low and middle-income countries, where the impact of cardiovascular disease is particularly high. In more developed countries, groups with cardiovascular risk factors in addition to other vulnerable groups could be selected for booster and annual vaccination programmes, similar to the influenza vaccination programme.”

For information on where to get a Covid-19 vaccine, please visit the NHS website .

This study was supported by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) in the form of its accelerator award to Queen Mary University of London.

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  1. Mohammed Ahmed Friday, 6 May 2022 at 07:33 AM

    What's age of these "unvaccinated" individuals in the risk group?
    According to the "news" above, it mentions that this risk group are those who are admitted with
    'high blood pressure, diabetes or major heart damage.'
    What's the age group of those who "studied" and their gender?
    Has any studies been carried out on those who relied on natural immunity?

    What's the survival rate of those who declined injectables released under emergency laws?

  2. John Wells Wednesday, 11 May 2022 at 10:44 AM

    Hi Mohammed, The study can be accessed by clicking the link.
    The evidence that vaccination protects you is overwhelming.
    I worked throughout covid in intensive care and saw far too many unvaccinated people tragically die, it was heartbreaking.
    The lived experience reflected the science, to protect our communities, get the jab.

  3. Bianca Camille Friday, 13 May 2022 at 11:07 AM

    It seems that the title of the article is very misleading considering that some studies used were done pre-vaccine roll out: ''Our meta-analysis pools data from studies across the world and focuses on COVID-19 outcomes in the early phase of the pandemic, before effective evidence-based treatments and vaccines were commonplace''. There was no clear comparison as pre and post vaccination roll out.