Study finds increased heart disease, risk of stroke after surviving even mild Covid-19
Study finds increased heart disease, risk of stroke after surviving even mild Covid-19

Study finds increased heart disease, risk of stroke after surviving even mild Covid-19

Did you have a “mild” case of Covid-19? Well, you might want to take the results of this study to you. A study recently published in Natural medicine found that U.S. veterans who had survived Covid-19 were more likely to have suffered some form of cardiovascular problem in the ensuing year. This is even when their first infections did not seem so serious.

For the investigation, a team from Veterans Affairs (VA) St. Louis Health Care System (Yan Xie, PhD, Evan Xu, Benjamin Bowe, MPH) and Washington University School of Medicine (Ziyad Al-Aly, MD) a patient database from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to assemble a study cohort and two control cohorts. The study cohort consisted of 153,760 U.S. veterans who had survived Covid-19 for at least 30 days after the initial diagnoses. For reference, 30 days is less than three Scaramuccis, which is clearly not quite a long time. Nevertheless, it is still far beyond the typical infectious period of Covid-19 coronavirus.

The two control groups included one that crossed the same pandemic period as the study group: 5,637,647 patients who had no evidence of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. The second control group came from a period that went before the pandemic: 5,859,411 veterans and their 2017 records. The research team then compared the different cardiovascular results that the study group and the two control groups suffered in the year after their first Covid-19 diagnosis.

Here is a tweet about the survey results from Al-Aly, which is an assistant professor at the Washington University School of Medicine:

As you can see, the results of the analyzes could be considered as some shots through the heart. And Covid-19 may have been to blame. Overall, those who had recovered from Covid-19 coronavirus infections were 63% more likely to have had some form of cardiovascular problem in the following year than those in the control groups. It included a 52% higher probability of having a stroke, a 63% higher probability of a heart attack, a 72% higher probability of heart failure and a 145% higher probability of heat failure. Those who had Covid-19 were also more likely to subsequently have various abnormal heart rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation (71% more likely), sinus tachycardia (84%), sinus bradycardia (53%), and ventricular arrhythmias (84%).

Al-Aly pointed out that increased probabilities of cardiovascular problems were evident across different ages, races, genders, and cardiovascular risk factors:

Heck, even those without any cardiovascular disease before Covid-19 coronavirus infections ended up being at higher risk after recovering from the infection.

Al-Aly stressed that even those who were not hospitalized due to their original Covid-19 coronavirus infections ended up having cardiovascular problems along the way:

With the custom words from Bon Jovi, honey, this could give “it’s just mild Covid-19” a bad name.

This study adds a growing body of evidence that a Covid-19 coronavirus infection can affect your heart and circulation in not only short-term but also long-term ways. E.g, I have covered for Forbes how magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has shown persistent abnormalities in patients’ hearts even a median of 71 days after their first Covid-19 diagnosis. Another study found evidence of SARS-CoV-2 in the hearts of those who were autopsied. And in an article for Forbes justified, “Covid-19 can cause heart damage – even if you are asymptomatic“, Robert Glatter, MD, reported on a study published in JAMA that some of those who did not notice any symptoms while infected with Covid-19 coronavirus still ended up getting heart damage or inflammation.

Although Celine Dion did not sing “My Heart Complications Will Go On”, it is a concern for those who have recovered from their first Covid-19 coronavirus infections. As Al-Aly tweeted, the pandemic could leave a long-lasting heartfelt legacy, even after the pandemic is no longer considered a pandemic:

Is an additional burden on the already destroyed American health care system plop? Whoa, what could be wrong? All this could be like taking a trash can and adding a big can of fuel to it while watching the movie Deuce Bigalow: Mand Gigolo at the same time.

If you assume you are not running a healthcare system, what does all this mean for you? If you’ve had Covid-19, you might want to listen to your heart, even when Covid-19 was apparently only a “mild” case. Any symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain or palpitations that may be cardiovascular related may be a reason to open your heart to your doctor and get a checkup. Oh, and if you’re thinking of exposing yourself “naturally” to SARS-CoV-2 instead of getting the vaccine, do not play games with your heart. The risk of heart problems from Covid-19 is significantly higher than from the vaccine.

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