COVID-19 survivors, some of whom were never sick enough to require hospitalizations, may face a higher risk for serious heart issues one year after infection, according to a report Thursday.
The study found that non-hospitalized patients had a 39% increased risk of developing heart failure compared to someone who was never sick with the virus, Bloomberg reported. The risk increases with the severity of infection, the report said.
Ziyad Al-Aly, the director of the clinical epidemiology center at the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System, called these aftereffects “substantial.”
“Governments and health systems must wake up to the reality that COVID, will cast a tall shadow in the form of long COVID, and has devastating consequences. I am concerned we are not taking this seriously enough,” he said, according to the report.
Johns Hopkins posted on its website that blood tests have shown that some COVID-19 patients have elevated levels of troponin in their blood, which is an indicator of damaged heart tissue.
The Bloomberg report said the study may be published in the Nature journal.