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Study says COVID-19 can have long-term effects on the heart

Posted at 3:48 PM, Aug 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 08:52:10-04

COVID-19 can have long term effects on some who contract the virus.

Fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, and even mental fogginess are some of the long-term symptoms people who had COVID-19 might experience.

According to Saint Alphonsus Pulmonary Critical Care Physician, John East, long-term effects on the heart are most concerning to physicians.

"There are a lot of reports out there about long-term symptoms, and there's a lot of work being done now to try and figure out which of these symptoms are specific to COVID and which ones are maybe more reflective of just the severity of illness of people," East says.

A study from JAMA Cardiology says COVID-19 can severely impact the heart.

"There are a lot of complaints of shortness of breath, and we know that there are patients with this virus that have an impact on their heart. And there are patients in short-term that have had cardiac arrests from Coronavirus, and these are patients who otherwise were not ill," East says.

The study looked at 39 autopsy's, and 29 showed COVID-19 was present in the heart.

Those who have mild symptoms still may experience a long-term effect on their heart, even if they are recovered and feel healthy.

"One of the things we find most concerning is this cardiac issue because people can have relatively few symptoms and have evidence of cardiac damage on both a pet imaging study and on these chemical markers. These can be people who look healthy, feel healthy, and have seemingly recovered completely," East says.

To read more about how COVID-19 could affect someone's heart, click here to read JAMA Cardiology's full study.