New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has asserted that Covid-19 vaccination does not heighten the risk of unexplained sudden death among young adults in India. The ICMR's research indicated that factors such as past Covid-19 hospitalization, a family history of sudden death, and certain lifestyle behaviors were associated with an increased likelihood of unexplained sudden death.
The study, conducted across 47 tertiary care hospitals in India, aimed to determine the factors linked to sudden deaths in individuals aged 18-45 years. In response to anecdotal reports of sudden unexplained deaths among seemingly healthy young adults in India, the ICMR conducted a multicentric matched case–control study to explore these associations.
Contrary to concerns suggesting an elevated risk of sudden death due to vaccination, the study revealed that receiving at least one dose of the Covid vaccine actually decreased the odds of unexplained sudden death. The study highlighted positive associations between unexplained sudden death and factors such as past Covid-19 hospitalization, family history of sudden death, binge drinking 48 hours before death/interview, use of recreational drugs/substances, and performing vigorous-intensity physical activity 48 hours before death/interview. Two doses of the vaccine were associated with lowered odds of unexplained sudden death, while a single dose did not exhibit the same effect.
The study, encompassing at least 729 cases and 2,916 controls, found no evidence of a positive association between unexplained sudden death and Covid-19 vaccination. Instead, it emphasized that a history of sudden death in the family, Covid-19 hospitalization, and certain high-risk behavioral factors were positively associated with unexplained sudden death among young Indians. In contrast, the study documented that Covid-19 vaccination indeed reduced the risk of unexplained sudden death in this age group.