Symptoms of infection with SARS-CoV-2 depend on the severity of the infection and the strain involved. These include loss of smell, lung problems, bleeding disorders, fever, cough, etc. Over the past year, we have found that some symptoms can take months to resolve, even after the infection clears. This persistence is called long covid.
Now, two years into the pandemic, the first studies are published that describe the long-term consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection. One of these studies shows that people who have been infected have a higher risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease. In the research, conducted at veterans hospitals in the United States, three groups were compared.
The first includes 153,760 people diagnosed with covid between March 1, 2020 and January 15, 2021 who did not die within the first 30 days of infection. Of this group, 131,612 had mild cases and were not hospitalized, 16,760 were hospitalized and, of these, 5,388 were in ICUs.
The second group includes 637,647 people who did not contract covid during this period, and the third, 5,859,411 people followed before the onset of covid. All were followed for one year.
What the scientists found was that the group that had contracted covid is more likely to have cardiovascular problems the following year compared to the other two groups. For example, in the group of people who had covid, there were ten other cases of atrial fibrillation for every thousand people; 13 other cases of heart failure; 5 other cases (always per thousand people) of stroke and so on.
This increased risk in the year following infection has been detected for more than ten cardiovascular conditions. The study also shows that the risk is greater the greater the severity of the disease.
The data was collected from people who had not yet been vaccinated. As most vaccines prevent more severe cases of covid, it is thought that the risk should be lower in vaccinated people, but we won’t know until the vaccinated population has been followed for more than a year.
MORE LABOR INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: NATURE’S MEDICINE COVID-19 LONG-TERM CARDIOVASCULAR RESULTS: HTTPS://DOI.ORG/10.1038/S41591-022-01689-3 2022
* IS A BIOLOGIST, PHD IN CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AT CORNELL UNIVERSITY AND AUTHOR OF THE ARRIVAL OF THE NEW CORONAVIRUS IN BRAZIL; LOTUS LEAF, MOSQUITO SLIDE; AND THE LONG WALK OF THE CANNIBES CRICKETS