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Fact Check-Research abstract is not reliable evidence of a link between mRNA vaccines and heart disease

A research abstract cited by commentators as proof that COVID-19 vaccines increase a person’s risk of heart disease has raised multiple concerns from experts.

The 319-word abstract, published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, claims its research has found mRNA vaccines “dramatically increase” inflammation in endothelium cells and T cell infiltration in the heart.

This inflammation, it says, “may account for the observations of increased thrombosis, cardiomyopathy, and other vascular events following vaccination” (here).

Commentators on British television and social media have since cited the research as the “death bell” for mRNA vaccines (see here), or as reliable proof to back up anonymous sources and alleged anecdotal evidence of vaccine-related heart disease (see here).

However, multiple experts have raised criticisms of the abstract, which does not detail a full study and has not been peer-reviewed.

The American Heart Association published an “expression of concern” in its journal on Nov. 24 to warn that the passage may not be reliable and that a “suitable correction” was needed (here).

It added: “Specifically, there are several typographical errors, there is no data in the abstract regarding myocardial T-cell infiltration, there are no statistical analyses for significance provided, and the author is not clear that only anecdotal data was used.”

Multiple other experts have expressed similar sentiments online (here , here and here), including one who shared parts of a presentation about the abstract and said it lacked data and any references, and was only written by one person (here).

Reuters has reached out to the abstract author, Dr Steven Gundry, who is a former cardiothoracic surgeon and now promotes nutritious ways to avoid surgery, as well as running a private restorative medicine practice. He was not immediately available for comment.

Reuters has previously addressed claims about COVID-19 vaccines and heart issues here and here.

VERDICT

Missing context. The research abstract does not provide reliable evidence that mRNA vaccines increase risk of heart disease.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking workhere .

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