According to a study published today in the scientific journal of the European Society of Cardiology (SEC), Covid-19 is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death in the short and long term.
The investigation that involved about 160 thousand participants found that "compared to uninfected people (with the SARS-CoV-2 virus), the probability of patients with covid-19 dying was 81 times greater in the first three weeks of infection and remained five times greater until 18 months later."
Covid-19 patients "were more likely to develop numerous cardiovascular conditions compared to uninfected participants, which may have contributed to a higher risk of death", said Ian Wong, author of the study published on Cardiovascular Research.
According to the professor at the University of Hong Kong, in view of the results now known, patients with Covid-19 "should be monitored for at least one year after recovery from acute illness due to Covid-19 to allow the diagnosis of cardiovascular complications of the infection", like 'long covid'.
This study compared the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases and deaths in infected people, compared to others who were not infected with the coronavirus, recruited before December 2020, when vaccines were not available in the UK.
According to the SEC, the investigation involved more than 7,500 Covid-19 patients, with an average age of 66 years, diagnosed in the UK between March 16th and November 30th, 2020, as well as several groups of people not infected during the study period, which ran from March 2020 and August 2021.
Each group of uninfected people was similar to the group with covid-19 on several criteria, such as age, gender, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and other health conditions, body mass index and ethnicity.
The collected data also indicated that patients with severe covid-19 were more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases or die than less serious cases of the virus.
“Covid-19 patients were more likely to have a variety of cardiovascular conditions compared to uninfected participants, both in the short and long term, including myocardial infarction, coronary heart disease, heart failure and deep vein thrombosis.” concluded the study.
The risks of some cardiovascular conditions, such as stroke and atrial fibrillation, were considered high in patients with covid-19 in the short term, but then returned to normal levels.
"This study was carried out during the first wave of the pandemic, but further research should evaluate subsequent outbreaks", said Ian Wong, for whom more studies are needed to investigate the effectiveness of vaccination in reducing the risks of cardiovascular disease and death after covid infection.