A new research study from the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai aimed to understand the possible connection between COVID-19 vaccination and a difficult-to-diagnose heart condition called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS.
The study validated that patients who were immunized with a COVID-19 mRNA vaccination and then went on to have new or exacerbated POTS all had preexisting conditions that can lead to a POTS diagnosis.
POTS is associated with nervous system dysfunction and causes an abnormal increase in heart rate after standing or sitting up. It used to affect primarily women of childbearing age. However, for POTS cases that developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, men were equally affected.
The observational study, recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Heart Rhythm and presented during the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, analyzed data from 10 patients treated at the Cedars-Sinai multidisciplinary POTS clinic between July 2021 and June 2022. When provided guideline-directed care, all study participants reported an improvement in their POTS condition.
Although there is an association between POTS and COVID-19 vaccination, a previous study of patient data across the Cedars-Sinai Health System found that patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were five times more likely to develop the cardiac condition after infection than after vaccination.