Covid vax did not raise risk of unexplained sudden death: Study

COVID-19 vaccination did not increase the risk of unexplained sudden death among young adults in India, says ICMR study.

Covid vax did not raise risk of unexplained sudden death: Study

COVID-19 vaccination did not increase the risk of sudden deaths among young adults in India, according to a study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Factors that did increase such chances included being in the hospital for Covid in the past and certain behaviours like binge drinking and intense physical activity shortly before death, the study said.

The study, titled "Factors associated with sudden deaths among adults aged 18-45 years in India -- a multicentric matched case-control study", is under peer review and yet to be published. It was completed earlier this month, official sources said on Monday.

Citing the ICMR study, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said at Gujarat's Bhavnagar on Sunday that those who had earlier suffered a severe bout of Covid must not overexert themselves for a year or two to avoid heart attacks and cardiac arrests.

Anecdotal reports of sudden deaths among healthy young adults in India led the researchers to conduct the investigation. The deaths raised concerns that they might be related to Covid-19 or the vaccination against the disease, the sources said.

The study was conducted to investigate the factors contributing to sudden unexplained deaths among healthy young adults in India.

The study included cases of apparently healthy individuals aged 18-45 years with no underlying health issues who died suddenly from unexplained causes between October 1, 2021 and March 31, 2023.

For each case, four matched controls were selected based on age, gender and locality, the sources said.

Investigators enrolled 729 cases and 2,916 controls and collected information from both the cases and controls about aspects, such as their medical history, behaviours like smoking, alcohol use and intense physical activity, whether they were hospitalised due to Covid and whether they were administered any vaccine dose.

"Covid-19 vaccination did not increase the risk of sudden deaths among young adults in India. In fact, Covid-19 vaccination reduced the risk of sudden deaths among adults.

"Factors that did increase the chances of sudden deaths included being in the hospital for Covid-19 in the past and certain behaviours like binge drinking and intense physical activity shortly before death. In summary, this research provides important insights into the factors contributing to sudden deaths among young adults in India," the study said.