Mild COVID-19 can still damage your heart health
New research suggests that even mild cases of COVID-19 can lead to long-term adverse effects on heart health.
The study focused on arterial stiffness, a sign linked to the aging and functioning of our blood vessels.
When arteries become stiffer and less functional, there is an increased risk of heart disease, dementia and, in severe cases, death.
An international team of scientists used pre-pandemic data on arterial stiffness to compare it with post-COVID-19 measurements.
Their results showed that even mild COVID-19 cases two to three months after infection affected artery and heart health.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, showed that age and time since COVID-19 infection are associated with increased arterial aging.
dr Maria Perissiou from the university expressed surprise at the decline in vascular health after COVID-19 infection.
She said inflammation typically decreases over time after infection, with physiological functions returning to normal levels.
More research is needed to understand this phenomenon, but some evidence suggests that COVID-19 may trigger an autoimmune process that leads to blood vessel deterioration.
The participants in the study were mostly young, under 40 years old and healthy.
The majority of them did not smoke, only 9% had high blood pressure and none had high cholesterol. The group was almost evenly split between men and women.
Professor Ana Jeroncic from the University of Split, who led the study, said the harmful effects of COVID-19 on cardiovascular health in young people who have had mild cases of the virus need close monitoring.
It remains unknown if these negative effects are permanent or how long they could last.
dr Perissiou added that while the study is small, it supports predictions that COVID-19 infections will lead to an increase in heart disease cases in the future.
However, other factors contributing to this increase must also be considered.
The study concluded that understanding the long-term cardiac-related consequences of COVID-19 infection is essential for developing prevention and treatment strategies for related vascular diseases.
Further research is needed to improve our understanding of the causes and contributing factors.
How to protect your heart health if you get a COVID-19 infection
COVID-19 is known to have severe respiratory effects, but it can also cause damage to the cardiovascular system, even in people with mild symptoms.
So it’s important to protect your heart health if you get a COVID-19 infection. Here are some ways to do this:
Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water and other fluids can help keep your blood flowing, reduce inflammation, and keep your heart healthy.
Follow your doctor’s instructions: If you already have heart disease, follow your doctor’s instructions for managing it during and after your COVID-19 infection.
Take medication as prescribed: If you are taking medication for a heart condition, continue as directed by your doctor. Do not stop or change medications without consulting your doctor.
Rest: Rest is important to help your body recover from the infection. Get plenty of sleep and avoid physical activity that can put a strain on your heart.
Monitor your symptoms: Keep track of any new or worsening symptoms, such as: B. Chest pain, shortness of breath or fast heartbeat. See a doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.
Exercise: Once you have recovered from the infection, gradually resume exercise. Regular exercise can help improve cardiovascular health, but start slowly and build up gradually.
Eat a healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can help keep your heart healthy.
Quit smoking: Smoking can increase your risk of heart disease, and contracting COVID-19 can make the condition worse. Therefore, quit smoking to protect your heart health.
In summary, taking care of your heart health is crucial if you get a COVID-19 infection.
Stay hydrated, follow your doctor’s orders, take prescribed medications, rest, monitor your symptoms, exercise, eat healthily, and quit smoking to protect your heart health.
If you care about heart health, please read studies about it the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart diseaseand scientists are finding out how COVID-19 damages the heart.
For more health information, see recent studies on aspirin linked to a higher risk of heart failure and results showing this drug may reduce heart disease, fatty liver and obesity.
The study was conducted by Mario Podrug et al. carried out published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.
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