COVID-19 vaccination did not increase the risk of sudden death, rather reduced it, finds ICMR's latest study that sought to decode the rise in sudden death among young Indians since 2021.
According to the study authors, the 1.5-year-long study published on 21 November, was undertaken to examine anecdotal reports of sudden unexplained deaths in India's healthy young adults that were being linked to COVID vaccines.
Here are some key findings of the study.
Big Points: Two doses of COVID-19 vaccine lowered the odds of unexplained sudden death, while a single dose didn't.
Not COVID vaccination, rather, these are some factors that were linked to unexplained sudden death in young people:
Family history of sudden deaths
Binge alcohol drinking 48 hours before death
Use of recreational drug/substance
Intense unaccustomed activity 48 hours before death
How the study was conducted: The large study involved 47 tertiary care hospitals across India.
729 cases of healthy individuals aged 18-45 years without any known co-morbidity, who suddenly died of unexplained causes between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2023 were analysed, along with 2916 controls.
COVID vaccination and infection status, as well as other factors such as post-COVID-19 conditions, family history of sudden death, and lifestyle habits of all the patients, were analysed.
Why it matters: Since the COVID-19 vaccines were announced back in 2020, questions have been raised regarding their safety and efficacy.
With the past couple of years also witnessing a spike in deaths among young people in India, speculations linking these unexplained deaths to the COVID vaccine were rife.
This new study, essentially puts these anecdotal claims through scientific investigation and closes an urgent data gap around post-COVID vaccine deaths.
At the same time, it reinforces the role of lifestyle, diet and exercise patterns in sudden death outcomes in young people.