Patients who had Covid-19 disease could be at increased risk of suffering chest pain in the six months to a year after the infection, finds a study, signaling a future risk of heart disease. However, the study did not report major events like a heart attack or stroke in such patients. While currently, “the symptoms aren’t necessarily translating into hard outcomes,” it needs to be “reassessed over time”, said Heidi T. May, a cardiovascular epidemiologist at Intermountain Health in Salt Lake City in the US and principal investigator of the study.
“It could be that lasting effects of infection on the cardiovascular system are difficult to quantify in terms of diagnoses or other events in the short-term and won’t be realized until longer follow-up,” she added.
For the study, the team studied nearly 150,000 Covid patients for cardiovascular symptoms. “Many Covid-19 patients experience symptoms well beyond the acute phase of infection,” May said.
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“While we didn`t see any significant rates of major events like a heart attack or stroke in patients who had an initial mild initial infection, we did find chest pains to be a persistent problem, which could be a sign of future cardiovascular complications, she added. The results were presented at the American College of Cardiology`s 2023 Scientific Conference in New Orleans.
The team compared three groups of patients — people ages 18 and up who tested positive for Covid; Covid negative patients; and patients who were seen between January 1, 2018, and August 31, 2019, as a historical control.
They found that at six-month and one-year intervals, patients who tested positive for Covid-19 had significantly higher rates of experiencing chest pain, but saw no other increases in cardiovascular events.
Meanwhile, an updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for certifying deaths due to coronavirus disease has revealed that according to emerging evidence, Covid virus can have lasting effects on nearly every organ and organ system of the body weeks, months, and potentially years after infection.
The guidance suggests that documented serious post-Covid conditions include cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurological, renal, endocrine, haematological, and gastrointestinal complications as well as death.
“For decedents, who had a previous SARSCoV-2 infection and were diagnosed with a post-Covid condition, the certifier may consider the possibility that the death was due to long-term complications of Covid-19, even if the original infection occurred months or years before death,” according to the updated Vital Statistics Reporting Guidance.