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Debilitating heart complication first associated with COVID infection now linked to vaccination

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A heart condition first associated with a COVID-19 infection is now linked with the COVID-19 vaccine, scientists at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles say in a new paper.

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, is characterized as an abnormally fast heart rate exceeding 120 beats per minute after a person stands for 10 minutes. Symptoms include fatigue, fainting and tremors.

Researchers looked at data from close to 290,000 vaccinated patients and an estimated 12,500 patients diagnosed with COVID from 2020 to 2022. 

While a percentage of vaccinated people did develop POTS after getting shots, people diagnosed with COVID-19 were five times more likely to develop the same cardiac condition after infection than after vaccinations.

“This knowledge identifies a possible — yet still relatively slim — association between COVID-19 vaccination and POTS,” lead study author and cardiovascular specialist Dr. Alan Kwan said in a news release. “The main message here is that while we see a potential link between vaccination and POTS, preventing COVID-19 through vaccination is still the best way to reduce your risk of developing POTS.”

The study was published in Nature Cardiovascular Research.