Study: 'Long Covid' associated with increased risk of heart diseases
A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on March 3 found that people with long COVID-19 had a higher risk of developing severe heart diseases including stroke. Long Covid refers to the health issues people face weeks or months after an initial case of COVID-19. People with long Covid also face an increase in various health complications.
Long Covid also causes health problems like asthma
Apart from heart-related issues, people with symptoms of long Covid experienced other health problems like coronary artery disease, heart failure, pulmonary embolism, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), and asthma. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, post-Covid condition (PCC) refers to experiencing new, returning, or ongoing health issues four weeks after the onset of the initial infection.
How can you diagnose the condition of long Covid
The condition of long Covid can be diagnosed based on symptoms like fatigue, joint pain, cough, shortness of breath, neurocognitive difficulties, depression, thromboembolic disorders, loss of taste or smell, and throat or chest pain. The authors of the recent study leveraged a large health insurance claims database to evaluate baseline characteristics like hypertension, obesity, depression, and COPD before the diagnosis of initial COVID-19.
Know about the study findings
The case-control study involved 26,870 matched adults without COVID-19 and 13,435 in the US with PCC. Those with PCC were found to experience an increased risk of cardiovascular illness including ischemic stroke. "During the 12-month follow-up period, 2.8% of the individuals with PCC versus 1.2% of the individuals without COVID-19 died, implying an excess death rate of 16.4 per 1,000 individuals," the study said.
Here are the reports of the follow-up period
During the follow-up period, the PCC group experienced increased healthcare utilization for cardiac arrhythmia with an increase in relative risk (RR) of 2.35. The PCC cohort also experienced pulmonary embolism with an increase in RR of 3.64 and ischemic stroke with an increase in RR of 2.17. Coronary artery disease with an increase in RR of 1.78 was also experienced by the PCC group.
Study provides 12-month assessment of adverse outcomes for PCC group
The PCC cohort also experienced heart failure with an increase in RR of 1.97; COPD with an increase in RR of 1.94; and asthma with an increase in RR of 1.95. "This case-control study provides a 12-month assessment of adverse outcomes for a cohort of individuals with PCC compared with a propensity-matched comparison group with similar baseline risks," the authors of the study stated.