Study: Covid-19 survivors at higher risk of suffering heart failure

Tuesday October 12 2021
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A new study which has established correlation between coronavirus and heart complications. PHOTO | FILE

By Nation. Africa

You now have every reason to take Covid-19 precautionary measures seriously following a new study which has established correlation between coronavirus and heart complications.

The risk of suffering from heart problems can be increased by even light cases of Covid-19, scientists have established.

Chances of developing heart inflammation and a type of blood clot known as pulmonary embolism, are 227 per cent and 119 percent more among individuals with less severe cases of Covid-19 respectively, according to the latest study.

Heart problems

A team of eggheads from Missouri based Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), St Louis Health Care System and St Louis’ Washington University, ascertained that mild cases which do not need rigorous medical care or hospitalisation, often result to increased likelihood of suffering from heart problems.

In the research which is awaiting publishing on the Nature journal upon peer review, the experts analysed the probability of contracting a condition within 12 months after being diagnosed with coronavirus.


Based on the findings, individuals with mild Covid-19 cases which did not need them to be hospitalized had a 39 per cent more possibility of developing heart failure and 24 per cent more likelihood of suffering from stroke in comparison to person who have never been infected with coronavirus.

The lead researcher, author and director of the clinical epidemiology centre at the VA St Louis, Dr Ziyad Al-Aly, expressed concern regarding the aftereffects of coronavirus infection dubbed as “Long Covid.”

He explained “Long Covid” as a term used to describe long term effects of coronavirus which linger on in a person’s body even after recovering from the disease.

“The aftermaths of Covid-19 are substantial,”

Health systems

“Governments and health systems must wake up to the reality that coronavirus will cast a tall shadow in the form of Long Covid, and has devastating consequences. I am concerned that we are not taking this seriously enough,” opined Dr Al-Aly.

According to experts, patients who develop mild cases of Covid-19 are likely to lose their sense of taste or smell.

On the other hand, acute coronavirus cases can cause harm to the body resulting to severe health complications or even cause one to be bedridden eventually.

Experts have now expressed apprehension about a post pandemic outbreak of Long Covid as a result of permanent alterations to the body by coronavirus.

The daunting twist comes even as scientists are yet to ascertain how and why Covid-19 affects individuals in the way it does.

Instances where survivors of mild Covid-19 cases eventually develop different kinds of severe health problems is one among many worrying outcomes of long Covid.

The latest findings seem to pour cold water on optimism to finally quell the devastating malady which has infected over 219 million people globally predicting havoc into the world’s health systems.

Further, the research indicates that people who catch severe coronavirus infections have an increased rate of developing heart failure. 

Cardiac arrest

On the other hand, the probability of suffering from cardiac arrest among hospitalized patients ailing from the virus, increased at 482 percent rate for a period of one year from the time of infection, according to findings.

Whereas the risk is insignificant among individuals with mild infection cases, critically ailing patients who need Intensive Care have enormous increased likelihood at 2,774 percent of getting heart attack.

Coronavirus patients who are hospitalised have a more than twice probability of getting a stroke compared to 177 percent average.

Those admitted at the ICU with the virus are four times likely to get a stroke, according to data from the pre-print study.

The eggheads also investigated chances of developing pulmonary embolism as an after effect of Covid-19 infection.

Pulmonary embolism refers to a kind of blood clot which normally emanates from a person’s legs before spreading in the body.

Pulmonary embolism

The risk of developing pulmonary embolism among hospitalized Covid-19 patients is at 855 percent while the probability shoots among those who end up at the ICU at 2,426 percent.

On inflammation of the heart, hospitalised coronavirus patients are at 1,264 percent risk which skyrockets to 3,940 percent likelihood among persons who get admitted to ICU.

Although heart inflammation, which is a common aftermath of viral infection, usually resolves itself, it can have detrimental repercussions.

The researchers also investigated about Myocarditis, which is one of Covid-19 side effects and less severe compared to the other health complications.

Patients who develop serious Covid-19 infections have a higher risk of contracting Myocarditis, compared to those who suffer less severe infections.