Long Covid is a common and often disabling condition. The underlying cause appears to be multisystem inflammation which persists after the acute infection. A recent paper has investigated the long-term effects on the cardiovascular system and found there to be an increase a wide range of cardiovascular diseases.
The research in the USA studied a very large database of more than. 5 million patients. The risks of major cardiovascular events such as stroke (50%), heart attack (60%) and Pulmonary Embolism (90%) were greatly increased in the year following acute Covid. In keeping with other studies into Long Covid the risk increased with the severity of the initial illness.
They conclude that governments and health systems around the world should be prepared to deal with a rise in the burden of cardiovascular diseases. Because of the chronic nature of these conditions, they will likely have long-lasting consequences for patients and health systems and also have broad implications on economic productivity and life expectancy.
As individuals it is important to remember that a healthy lifestyle will decrease the risks of severe Covid, Long Covid and cardiovascular disease. Vaccines also protect against severe Covid and Long Covid. Regular check ups will identify risks for cardiovascular disease, including inflammation, to allow for prevention and timely treatment.
1. Xie, Y., Xu, E., Bowe, B., & Al-Aly, Z. (2022, February 7). Long-term cardiovascular outcomes of COVID-19. Nature News. Retrieved March 29, 2022, from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-022-01689-3
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