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People with Covid-19 may face long-term cardiovascular complications, study says

0 2 years ago

As the Covid-19 pandemic enters its third year, scientists are finding that the coronavirus has far-reaching effects on health beyond the acute phase of illness. One recent study has found that people with Covid-19 are at an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases for at least a year after recovery.

The study, published this month in the journal Nature Medicine, used data from US Department of Veterans Affairs national health care databases to follow over 153,000 veterans with a history of Covid-19 infection for up to a year after their recovery.

Compared with those who were never infected, people who had a coronavirus infection were more likely to have symptoms including inflammatory heart disease, heart failure, dysrhythmia, heart attacks, strokes and clotting in the long term. People with prior Covid-19 infections were more than 60% more likely to develop any cardiac issue. Many of these conditions, such as pulmonary embolisms, are life-threatening.

“One thing that was sobering was that the risk was evident even in people who had very mild disease or did not need hospitalization,” said lead researcher Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, chief of research and development at the VA St. Louis Health Care System.

As disease severity increased, so did the risk of cardiovascular complications in the long run. People who had been treated in an ICU had the highest risk for cardiovascular disease after recovery. For example, people who weren’t hospitalized were twice as likely to have a pulmonary embolism than people who had not had Covid-19, and those treated in the ICU were more than 21 times more likely to have one.


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