As far as Michelle Wilson knew, she’d recovered from Covid-19.
Wilson, 65, contracted the virus in November 2020. Her illness, she said, was mild, and she was feeling ready to go back to work as a nurse in St. Louis by early December.
That’s when her heart problems began.
“I literally woke up one morning, and my heart was racing and beating erratically,” Wilson recalled. “I was having intense chest pain.”
Fortunately, Wilson was not having a heart attack. But she did develop long-term heart problems, including high blood pressure, putting her at risk for further cardiovascular issues.
I had heart failure from covid at 36 years old. Quite healthy when I caught it too. After heart failure I was deathly ill for 48 days. I’m still suffering from long hauler symptoms of decreased lung function, brain function, muscle loss, anxiety, and three hernias. pic.twitter.com/0EjZ1816hi
— Ryan Zi (@RyanWayneZ) February 14, 2022
Despite her age, she had no prior medical history to suggest she was at risk for heart disease — other than Covid-19.
Indeed, it appears the coronavirus can leave patients at risk for heart problems for at least one year following infection, according to one of the largest analyses of post-Covid health effects to date.
In an analysis of over 11 million health records, the risk of 20 different heart and vessel maladies was substantially increased in those who had COVID-19 12 months earlier, compared with those who didn’t. E.g. a 72% higher risk of heart failurehttps://t.co/TkhJPZ1UAd
— Piotr Jankowski (@PiotrJankowski_) February 14, 2022
The study, published last week in Nature Medicine, found that the illness increased the possibility of heart rhythm irregularities, as well as potentially deadly blood clots in the legs and lungs, in the year after an acute infection.
Covid case increased chance of high incidence diseases heart attack/stroke
"Ppl who had recovered from COVID-19 showed stark increases in 20 cardiovascular problems over the year after infection…risk of heart failure ⬆️ by 72%" @elaineywchen @pranay_md https://t.co/oZeZ5rwLjq pic.twitter.com/xE18vnBr3I
— Albert Pinto (@70sBachchan) February 14, 2022
Covid also increased the risk for heart failure by 72 percent, heart attack by 63 percent and stroke by 52 percent — even among those, like Wilson, whose original illnesses were mild.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University in St. Louis, said he and his colleagues expected to see some elevation in heart problems following Covid, but assumed it would be limited largely to people whose health wasn’t robust previously.
EVEN MILD COVID CAN CAUSE LONG-TERM ILL-HEALTH. New US research shows it can raise the risk of cardiovascular problems for a year plus. Heart failure and strokes were far more common in people recovered from COVID-19 than in similar ones who never had it. https://t.co/INl2OKGXDq
— Elfi Pallis (@oxbridgentrance) February 14, 2022
The elevated risk remained when researchers accounted for age and race, he said.
“It was a bit of a moment for us when we realized it was evident in all of these subgroups,” Al-Aly said, “including younger adults, older adults, Black people, white people, people with obesity and those without.”
“The risk was everywhere,” he said. Read more…