‘BBC article’ claiming shallow breathing increases risk of heart attack is fake

16 February 2022
What was claimed

A BBC News article reports that breathing too many times a day could raise your risk of a heart attack.

Our verdict

The article is fake.

An image of a fake mocked-up BBC News article is being shared on social media.

The headline reads: “Breathing too many times a day could raise your risk of a heart attack”, and the article excerpt claims a trial found that this can increase the risk of high blood pressure and myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation.

The article is not real. No BBC article with that headline exists, and the font used for the headline does not match the BBC’s.

However, the BBC did publish a piece in March 2020 mentioning how shallow unfocused breathing may increase the risk of high blood pressure. 

In recent months, sharing news stories, both real and fake, about possible risk factors for heart attacks, has been popular among those who wish to make a point about the risks of Covid-19 vaccines.

The inference is that the press is content to run stories about how all manner of things can cause heart attacks but not Covid-19 vaccines, or that it’s the Covid-19 vaccines actually causing these heart conditions.

Some of the posts sharing this fake BBC mock-up make this point more directly. 

Other misleading claims have been made linking Covid-19 vaccines and an assortment of heart-related conditions. 

However, the British Heart Foundation says there is no evidence of an increased risk of death from cardiac arrest following vaccination. 

The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency has said there is a potential risk of myocarditis and pericarditis (another form of heart inflammation) with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. It added: “These reports are very rare, and the events reported are typically mild with individuals usually recovering within a short time with standard treatment and rest.”

It also says that a “rapid heartbeat” can be a side effect of the vaccines, but has not found a link between the vaccines and other heart conditions to date beyond those mentioned.

Image courtesy of Erru73  

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