MONDAY, Nov. 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A higher incidence of myocarditis or pericarditis occurs after COVID-19 vaccination, according to a review published online Sept. 25 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Juan Gao, from Anhui Medical University in Hefei, China, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify studies evaluating the risk for myocarditis/pericarditis after COVID-19 vaccination.

Based on 11 included studies (58.6 million individuals), the researchers found that COVID-19 vaccination was associated with an increased risk for myocarditis or pericarditis (relative risk, 2.04). There was an increased risk seen with the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine versus risk seen among those receiving the first dose only (relative risk, 4.06). A higher incidence of pericarditis or myocarditis was seen primarily in those who received the BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 vaccines (relative risks, 2.19 and 4.15, respectively). The elevated risk was seen in males and adults younger than 40 years.

“Study results indicate that a higher incidence of myocarditis or pericarditis was found after COVID-19 vaccination. Nevertheless, the risks of myocarditis and pericarditis in COVID-19 vaccine recipients are still significantly lower than the health risks observed in patients with COVID-19,” the authors write. “The benefits and harms must be carefully assessed to determine the best management option for patients who are in the high-risk group of myocarditis or pericarditis.”

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