Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke 3-Fold in First 2 Weeks After COVID: Lancet

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Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke 3-Fold in First 2 Weeks After COVID: Lancet

COVID-19 is a multiorgan illness, of this we know. Experts have also warned of COVID making people more vulnerable to cardiovascular illnesses post recovery.

But just how high is this risk?

The authors of a new study published in the medical journal Lancet, may have the answer.

The risk of first heart attack and stroke increases by three times in the first 2 weeks after COVID recovery, finds the study conducted in Umeå University in Sweden.

The extensive study is the largest of it's kind, involving all COVID-19 cases in the country between Feb 1 to Sept 14, 2020.


About the Study

Here is a quick round up of the key points of the study.

  • The study involved all 86,742 COVID-19 patients who were infected with COVID in Sweden between Feb 1 to Sept 14, 2020.

  • This group was compared to another control group consisting of 348,481 people.

  • The study was also repeated with sex and age (those below, and those above 70) as variables.

  • The average age of the participants was 48 years (between 31–62), and

  • 37 235 (43%) of the participants were male, whereas 49 507 (57%) were female.

  • Individuals who had previously had either myocardial infarction and ischaemic stroke were excluded from the study.

"Our findings suggest that COVID-19 is a risk factor for acute myocardial infarction and ischaemic stroke," reads the study.

"This indicates that acute myocardial infarction and ischaemic stroke represent a part of the clinical picture of COVID-19." It adds.

COVID in itself poses a higher risk of "cardiovascular manifestations and thrombotic complications", and this risk was even higher in those who have these complications before COVID, said the study.

For the study, the researchers used two different statistical methods, and both methods indicated to COVID-19 being a risk factor for both myocardial infarction and ischaemic stroke.

This risk remained the same even after the researchers adjusted other known risk factors of the illnesses.

The main aim of the study, according to the study authors is to highlight the long term impact that COVID can have even after recovery and why getting vaccinated is so important.

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