By: April Carson
This week, a research study has revealed the association between Covid-19 and POTS - postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome - which is an incapacitating heart condition. It has been observed in individuals who have endured long term effects of coronavirus infection. The research, which was published in the International Journal of Cardiology, found that patients with POTS who had previously been infected with Covid-19 were more likely to experience symptoms such as dizziness and lightheadedness upon standing.
In accordance with prior observations from clinicians, the most recent research findings published in Nature Cardiovascular Research indicate that COVID-19 could be a catalyst for POTS - an autonomic nervous system dysfunction which is commonly characterized by dizziness, rapid heartbeats and low blood pressure.
Experts warn that physicians often overlook this condition, as it is frequently misinterpreted for an assortment of other health ailments such as anxiety and dehydration. As a result, numerous patients are subjected to years of misdiagnosis before receiving the correct diagnosis.
Dr. Alan Kwan, a cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and lead study author of the recent investigation on Long Covid, shares that one of their earliest discoveries was its association with POTS; this new research furthers these findings.
The new study found that POTS could be connected, albeit to a lesser degree, with the Covid vaccination via an mRNA vaccine.
Analyzing data of the Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles County, researchers tracked nearly 300,000 patients from 2020 to 2022 who had either received a Covid vaccine or acquired an actual case. The majority were inoculated with mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna's while those who tested positive for Covid had not been immunized.
Researchers uncovered a slight but more significant risk of POTS following Covid vaccination, particularly after the first dose. Nevertheless, it was established that getting Covid presented a fivefold higher hazard than receiving the vaccine - signifying that inoculation is still considered safer.
The study, published in the American Heart Association's Circulation journal, also noted that cardiac risks associated with Covid-19 infection are greater than those linked to vaccination even when POTS is considered.
Professor Zian Tseng of UCLA who was part of the research group stated: “This finding adds to the growing body of evidence that the benefits of Covid-19 vaccination are likely to outweigh any cardiac risks associated with it.”
Despite the potential connection between Covid-19 vaccination and POTS, Dr. Kwan emphasizes that preventing yourself from contracting Covid-19 through vaccinations is still the optimal way to reduce your chances of developing POTS moving forward.
Despite potential limitations, the findings of this study are based on patient records that originate from a single healthcare system. To definitively confirm the link between postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and vaccination for Covid-19, further studies must be conducted.
Kwan proposed a possible connection between the Covid vaccines and this condition, pointing to an immune reaction caused by the shots. Dr. Ofer Levy, head of Boston Children’s Hospital's Precision Vaccines Program, concurred with Kwan on this assessment.
However, incorporating prevention measures can reduce your chances of developing POTS after being vaccinated. Incorporating regular exercise, an adequate sleep schedule, and avoiding triggers such as alcohol consumption and caffeine can all help prevent POTS from occurring.
He remarked that Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines may be associated with a slight risk of myocarditis. The condition could arise due to the body's response to the vaccine shots. However, even though there is still some probability of developing myocarditis after immunization, it is much lower compared to getting Covid-19 itself.
Levy stated that further research into the immune response to shots should be conducted, so researchers can become more clever when designing vaccines in the future. By delving deeper into how adverse events operate, we'll gain a better understanding of immunization and discover ways to improve vaccinations for years to come.
Initial accounts correlated other vaccines with POTS, but further studies failed to prove such a direct relationship. It is important to remember that POTS has been associated with Covid-19 for some time and researchers have yet to establish a connection between vaccinations and the condition. As more research becomes available, it will become clearer if there is an actual link between immunization and myocarditis or POTS.
Initially, reports indicated a potential link between the HPV vaccine Gardasil and POTS; however, further reviews by experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center uncovered no evidence to substantiate those claims. Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt's Infectious Disease department was not involved in the research but confirmed these findings.
An indisputable association exists between POTS and infections, including Covid-19. According to Dr. Bala Munipalli, the leader of Mayo Clinic's Post-Acute Sequelae of Covid clinic in Jacksonville Florida, "Many conditions can trigger POTS including viral infections such as SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes Covid-19." The relationship between these two is stronger than ever before and should not be overlooked or underestimated.
It is fairly typical for POTS to develop after certain infections, according to Schaffner. It has been associated with a range of viral or bacterial illnesses such as influenza, mononucleosis and Lyme disease. In the case of Covid-19, the virus itself is believed to cause POTS due to its effects on the autonomic nervous system.
Although Dr. Daniel Dudenkov, a prominent physician at the Mayo Clinic, has acknowledged that Covid vaccination may be connected to POTS symptoms, he also reminds us that contracting the virus itself is much more likely to result in this disorder.
"Vaccines are an integral part of our defence against Covid and its consequences," he stated emphatically. Schaffner agreed, noting that any potential event following the vaccine is "rare." “The risk posed by the virus itself is much higher than anything associated with receiving a vaccination - so please get vaccinated!” He urged all people to take advantage of this life-saving opportunity.
Nevertheless, the physician acknowledged that it is important to detect and attend to any cardiac symptoms that may arise following vaccination. He suggested that patients who develop POTS-like symptoms should seek medical attention as soon as possible. “Early detection plays a key role in managing this condition effectively," he noted, adding "These symptoms tend to fade over time and should not be a reason to avoid the vaccine.”
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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