Study Suggests Elevated Risk of Heart Problems after COVID

Study Shows Elevated Risks of Heart Problems After COVID
Man clutching his chest while experiencing heart problems. | Image by People Images

Previous research on the health effects of a COVID-19 infection has shown the possibility of a wide range of lasting side effects, from lack of energy to brain fog. New research has demonstrated an increased risk of heart problems in people who have been infected by the virus that causes COVID-19. 

According to a study published by Nature Medicine, new research shows the risk of heart problems for people who have contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus may remain elevated for up to a year.

“Our results provide evidence that the risk and 1-year burden of cardiovascular disease in survivors of acute COVID-19 are substantial,” the paper reads.

The study also found that COVID-19 placed people at higher risk for heart rhythm irregularities, increasing the risk of heart attack by 63%, heart failure by 72%, and stroke by 52%.

NBC News reported that Michelle Wilson contracted COVID-19 in November 2020, but her symptoms were mild, and she was feeling ready to go back to her nursing job by early December that year. However, Wilson began to show signs of heart problems.

Wilson said one morning she woke up with intense chest pain and found her heart beating very fast. She learned afterward that it was not a heart attack, but rather long-term heart problems she had developed after getting COVID-19. She also had high blood pressure, which in turn made her more prone to cardiovascular problems.

Per NBC News, the study’s lead author, Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University in St. Louis, said he and his colleagues thought that the elevations in heart problems would be limited to people who had previous health issues.

However, according to Al-Aly, when the researchers accounted for race and age, the study showed elevated risk was recorded across various subgroups, including both younger and older adults as well as those with obesity and without.

Patients in this study were unvaccinated, so the study does not account for vaccinated patients.

The study recommended that people pay attention to cardiovascular health and disease after “surviving the acute episode of COVID-19.”

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