Prior COVID-19 vaccination and reduced risk of cerebrovascular diseases among COVID-19 survivors

J Med Virol. 2024 May;96(5):e29648. doi: 10.1002/jmv.29648.


The effects of COVID-19 vaccination on short-term and long-term cerebrovascular risks among COVID-19 survivors remained unknown. We conducted a national multi-center retrospective cohort study with 151 597 vaccinated and 151 597 unvaccinated COVID-19 patients using the TriNetX database, from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2023. Patients baseline characteristics were balanced with propensity score matching (PSM). The outcomes were incident cerebrovascular diseases occurred between 1st and 30th days (short-term) after COVID-19 diagnosis. Nine subgroup analyses were conducted to explore potential effect modifications. We performed six sensitivity analyses, including evaluation of outcomes between 1st to 180th days, accounting for competing risk, and incorporating different variant timeline to test the robustness of our results. Kaplan-Meier curves and Log-Rank tests were performed to evaluate survival difference. Cox proportional hazards regressions were adopted to estimate the PSM-adjusted hazard ratios (HR). The overall short-term cerebrovascular risks were lower in the vaccinated group compared to the unvaccinated group (HR: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.56-0.77), specifically cerebral infarction (HR: 0.62, 95% CI: 0.48-0.79), occlusion and stenosis of precerebral arteries (HR: 0.74, 95% CI: 0.53-0.98), other cerebrovascular diseases (HR: 0.57, 95% CI: 0.42-0.77), and sequelae of cerebrovascular disease (HR: 0.39, 95% CI:0.23-0.68). Similarly, the overall cerebrovascular risks were lower in those vaccinated among most subgroups. The long-term outcomes, though slightly attenuated, were consistent (HR: 0.80, 95% CI: 0.73-0.87). Full 2-dose vaccination was associated with a further reduced risk of cerebrovascular diseases (HR: 0.63, 95% CI: 0.50-0.80) compared to unvaccinated patients. Unvaccinated COVID-19 survivors have significantly higher cerebrovascular risks than their vaccinated counterparts. Thus, clinicians are recommended to monitor this population closely for stroke events during postinfection follow-up.

Keywords: COVID‐19 vaccination; cohort study; strokes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • COVID-19 Vaccines* / administration & dosage
  • COVID-19 Vaccines* / adverse effects
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders* / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data
  • Vaccination* / statistics & numerical data


  • COVID-19 Vaccines