Covid-19 Impact Heart Health Though The Infection is Mild
SARS-CoV-2 has been known to cause heart and blood vessel harm in those acutely unwell since the beginning of the outbreak. Clots, arrhythmias, cardiac swelling, and cardiac arrest occurred in the patients.
Now, the first comprehensive study to look at cardiovascular outcomes one-year post-SARS-CoV-2 infection has found that its virus’s effects are often long-lasting. Researchers discovered a significantly elevated risk of 20 various heart and vascular diseases in veterans who already had COVID-19 1 year before compared to those who didn’t in a review of over 11 million U.S. veterans’ medical records. The risk increased with the intensity of the primary disease and was found to be present in every event the researchers looked at, namely heart attack, cardiac arrest, strokes, arrhythmias, & much more. Including those individuals who had never been to the hospital had higher rates of cardiovascular illness than those who had never been infected.
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The outcomes are “stunning … worse than I expected, for sure,” says Eric Topol, a cardiologist at Scripps Research. “All of these are very serious disorders. … If anybody ever thought that COVID was like the flu, this should be one of the most powerful data sets to point out it’s not.” He also states that the recent study “may be the most impressive Long Covid paper we have seen to date.”
Others concur with the study’s findings. “It looked back. We have to do prospective studies to calculate accurate estimates.” The current study may need to be duplicated, and that was observational, which could introduce flaws like integrating inaccurate diagnosis from patient information.
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Researchers are also baffled as to how the infection orchestrates such long-term harm. However, they believe that the cardiovascular risks and the signs of Long Covid (which would include brain fog, weakness, weariness, and lack of smell) may share the same cause.
“This is clear evidence of long-term heart & vascular damage. Similar things could be happening in the brain & other organs resulting in symptoms characteristic of Long Covid, including brain fog,” says senior author and clinical epidemiologist Ziyad Al-Aly.
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