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COVID-19 Infection Linked to Increased Risk for Myocarditis

Risk for myocarditis up 15.7-fold for patients with COVID-19 during March 2020 to January 2021 versus those without COVID-19

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THURSDAY, Sept. 2, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- The risk for myocarditis is increased in association with COVID-19, with risk varying by age group, according to research published in the Aug. 31 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Tegan K. Boehmer, Ph.D., from the CDC COVID-19 Response Team, and colleagues examined the correlation between COVID-19 and myocarditis using a large, U.S. hospital-based administrative database of health care encounters for more than 900 hospitals.

The researchers found that compared with 2019, myocarditis inpatient encounters were 42.3 percent higher in 2020. During March 2020 to January 2021, the risk for myocarditis was 0.146 and 0.009 percent for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 during an inpatient or hospital-based outpatient encounter and among those not diagnosed with COVID-19, respectively. Patients with COVID-19 during March 2020 to January 2021 had a 15.7-fold increased risk for myocarditis compared with those without COVID-19 after adjustment for patients and hospital characteristics; risk ratios varied from 7.0 for those aged 16 to 39 years to >30.0 for those aged younger than 16 years or 75 years or older.

"Myocarditis is uncommon among patients with and without COVID-19; however, COVID-19 is a strong and significant risk factor for myocarditis, with risk varying by age group," the authors write. "The findings in this report underscore the importance of implementing evidence-based COVID-19 prevention strategies, including vaccination, to reduce the public health impact of COVID-19 and its associated complications."

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