Vital Shield COVID-19 Vaccination Proven to Boost Survival in Heart Failure Patients

Reported by Eurekalert Groundbreaking research presented at Heart Failure 2024, an esteemed scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), unveils a remarkable finding: heart failure patients who receive COVID-19 vaccination are significantly more likely to live longer compared to their unvaccinated counterparts.

Heart failure, a critical syndrome afflicting over 64 million individuals globally, now faces a potential game-changer in the fight against COVID-19.

Previous investigations have established the safety of COVID-19 vaccines among individuals with cardiovascular conditions, including heart failure. Moreover, evidence indicates that COVID-19 outcomes tend to be graver among heart failure patients than in those without the condition.

However, until now, scant research has delved into the specific impact of vaccination on heart failure patients’ outcomes. This groundbreaking study conducted retrospectively on a nationwide scale, delved into the prognosis of heart failure patients based on their COVID-19 vaccination status.

Leveraging the comprehensive Korean National Health Insurance Service database, which encompasses nearly the entire population of the Republic of Korea, researchers meticulously examined vaccination records alongside clinical outcomes. Participants who had received two or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were categorized as “vaccinated,” while those with no vaccination history or only one dose were classified as “unvaccinated.”

Patients with heart failure should be vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect their health. 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.”

Dr. Kyeong-Hyeon Chun, study author of the National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Republic of Korea

The study cohort comprised 651,127 heart failure patients aged 18 or older, with an average age of 69.5 years and equal gender representation. Among them, 83% (538,434 patients) had received vaccination, while the remaining 17% (112,693 patients) remained unvaccinated.

To mitigate potential confounding factors, such as age, gender, and underlying health conditions (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol), researchers meticulously matched vaccinated and unvaccinated patients in a 1:1 ratio. This meticulous process yielded a comparable sample size of 73,559 patients in each group for comparative analyses. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Over a median follow-up period of six months, vaccination emerged as a potent shield against adverse outcomes. Specifically, vaccination was linked to an impressive 82% reduction in all-cause mortality risk, a notable 47% decrease in hospitalization rates due to heart failure, and a 13% dip in the risk of COVID-19 infection compared to non-vaccination.

Additionally, vaccinated individuals exhibited significantly lower risks of cardiovascular complications, including stroke, heart attack, myocarditis/pericarditis, and venous thromboembolism, in contrast to their unvaccinated counterparts.

Dr. Chun, the lead researcher, expressed optimism about the findings, labeling the study as the first of its kind to assess COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness in a large heart failure patient population. The results not only underscore the clear benefits of vaccination but also highlight the urgent need to prioritize vaccination among heart failure patients.

However, Dr. Chun cautions that while the benefits of vaccination are evident, individual patient circumstances, particularly those with unstable health conditions, warrant careful consideration of vaccination risks.


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