Risk of stroke and heart failure skyrockets after COVID-19 infection, says recent study.

A study released yesterday by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, compared over 150,000 veterans who survived at least 30 days after contracting COVID-19 with two massive control groups, each with more than 5 million uninfected people. One control group was comprised of patients who used the VA medical system during the pandemic while the second control group used the VA medical system in 2017 – prior to COVID-19.

During the year after infection, the study group (who had contracted COVID-19) was 52% more likely to have had a stroke than the control group of patients currently in the VA medical system. The risk of heart failure increased by 72%. Even those who had avoided hospitalization were at higher risk for many of the conditions, although hospitalization did pose a greater risk factor in general.

The researchers studied only a veteran population and some of the contemporary control group could have had mild, undiagnosed infections, so the conclusions are somewhat limited, but researchers urge cardiologists and other healthcare providers to be watchful for a significant rise in cardiovascular conditions.

Since researchers have already theorized that COVID-19 is an endothelial disease, these findings are not surprising, and the release of the information can assist healthcare systems around the world incorporate additional screening and treatments for at-risk patients.

Next: Part II: I Had COVID-19 – How can I limit my risk of related cardiovascular disease?

4 thoughts on “Part I: Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Soars After COVID-19 (Even if you had a mild case)

  1. James Vanek says:

    Were the 150,000 patients referred to in this study all vaccinated? Therefore, do we know if the vaccine could have caused this result? It might be interesting to break down those numbers further to those with natural immunity and those who were vaccinated? I’m not getting political just looking to real answers to real questions ….

    • Sheri Wallace says:

      We had the same question and the study did not appear to screen for any vaccinated status. They simply studied the effects of contracting the disease and looked at the long-term effects. Great question, though, whether there is a difference in long-term effects with and without vaccination!

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