(This story has been republished in light of the death of Andhra Pradesh IT minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy due to a cardiac arrest. Gotham Reddy had also only recently recovered from COVID-19.)
Andhra Pradesh Industries Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy passed away on the morning of 21 February, Monday. He was 49. Goutham Reddy reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest. Reddy had recently recovered from COVID-19.
COVID-19 is linked to a higher instance of long term cardiovascular diseases that can last upwards of a year, finds a new study published in the medical journal Nature.
Although anecdotes have pointed to a higher instance of cardiovascular issues in COVID-19 recovered patients, the study conducted by researchers at the Clinical Epidemiology Center, at the St. Louis Health Care System in the US, backs these up with more comprehensive scientific evidence.
The study researchers most notably observed stroke, arrhythmia, ischaemic and non-ischaemic heart disease, thromboembolic disorders, and pericardium (heart inflammation) among post COVID patients.
Taking to Twitter, Ziyad Al-Aly, the director of the Clinical Epidemiology Center, at Veterans Affairs St Louis Health Care System, and one of the researchers involved said that the study "shows as increased risks of a wide range of cardiovascular diseases at 1 year."
Moreover, higher instance of cardiovascular issues were noted even in people who were healthy prior to catching COVID.
The Study & What it Found
The study researchers built a database of 153,760 people with COVID-19.
The participants were rounded up from the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
They also made 2 control groups of 5,637,647 and 5,859,411 people each.
The study analysed results of subgroups based on age, race, sex, obesity, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular disease.
Unlike previous shorter studies, this study was conducted over the course of 12 months.
Outcome of the study:
The researchers found that people who had COVID-19, had a higher risk of developing cardiovascular issues, even after the 30 day mark.
"The risks of cardiovascular diseases were evident in all subgroups: young and old, White and Black people, males and females, and several other subgroups."Ziyad Al-Aly, study author, Director of the Clinical Epidemiology Center, at Veterans Affairs St Louis Health Care System
Furthermore, non hospitalised, hospitalised, and ICU requiring patients with acute infection were all found to have a risk of cardiovascular diseases which went up with the severity of the illness.
The study also found that the risk of cardiovascular diseases was far higher from COVID infections than from any of the COVID vaccines.
Why the Study Matters
According to the study authors, links between COIVD-19 and cardiovascular issues have previously been established in people who had severe symptoms requiring hospitalisations.
This study expands our understanding of the impact on patients of acute COVID who didn't require hospitalisation.
Moreover, a higher risk of long term cardiovascular disease also means prolonged medical expenditure, and a higher risk of mortality, as well as an overall higher burned of these diseases.
“Because of the chronic nature of these conditions, they will likely have long-lasting consequences for patients and health systems and also have broad implications on economic productivity and life expectancy."Ziyad Al-Aly, study author, Director of the Clinical Epidemiology Center, at Veterans Affairs St Louis Health Care System
Having a comprehensive understanding of the long term impact of COVID can help health authorities better prepare with more effective policies.
"Governments and health systems around the world should be prepared to deal with the likely significant contribution of the COVID-19 pandemic to a rise in the burden of cardiovascular diseases," Dr Al-Aly added in another Tweet.