These heart problems after Covid-19 often go unnoticed

An infection with the coronavirus can cause inflammation in the vessels of all organs – including the heart. Why this is often recognized late and what signs those affected should pay attention to.

It was shown early on that Covid-19 is more than just a disease that damages the lungs. In principle, the virus can attack all cells in the body. The heart can also be affected both during the acute infection and during post-Covid – i.e. as a late consequence of the disease.

A study by researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt has already confirmed: Even with a mild course, the heart can suffer from Covid-19. According to this, three quarters of 100 infected patients between the ages of 45 and 53 years showed heart damage. This also occurred in people with mild corona symptoms.

Heart muscle inflammation as a result of Covid-19

Other research found that even young and physically active people can develop heart disease. For medical professionals, the heart muscle inflammation (myocarditis) after Covid-19 is in the focus. This can be triggered by various virus infections.

“We were able to determine that patients who had gone through a corona infection became suspicious a few weeks later with symptoms of acute myocardial inflammation,” said Philipp Wenzel, cardiologist at the Mainz University Hospital, the “BR”. The researchers at the Mainz University Clinic had already published a paper on this in the specialist magazine “Cardiovascular Research” in the summer of 2020.

the Inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) is a serious disease. In severe cases, it can cause heart failure or severe cardiac arrhythmias. Then there is even a risk of sudden cardiac death.

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Study with competitive athletes: myocarditis often goes unnoticed

Another study from the USA shows: Inflammation of the heart muscle after Corona is often not even noticed by those affected. As the research team reported in the journal “Jama Cardiology”, 1,597 athletes took part in the examination, which included an ECG, the determination of the troponin value and a cardiac MRI. All subjects had previously suffered from a corona infection.

The result: 37 participants (2.3 percent) were diagnosed with myocarditis, although only nine of them had symptoms. They suffered from chest pain and shortness of breath. In the past year there had already been an increasing number of reports of heart complications in athletes who had previously participated Covid-19 were sick.

The researchers point out that myocarditis should definitely be cured in order to avoid permanent heart damage. How many patients the disease heals without any consequences and how many consequential damages it will only show in the future.

Follow-up care important for Covid 19 patients

Experts generally recommend patients who have had a mild course to be examined again a few months after the Covid 19 disease has subsided. Because an inflammation of the heart muscle is not associated with typical symptoms. That makes it difficult to spot them in time.

In some cases, when people who have recovered still feel weak and tired, they may be mistakenly diagnosed with chronic fatigue rather than a heart problem.

How to recognize myocarditis

In many cases, symptoms occur with myocarditis, which also occur with other much more common heart diseases such as heart failure or the Heart attack can be found, informs the German Heart Foundation.

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According to this, three out of four patients with myocarditis have shortness of breath, one in three chest pain and one in five Cardiac arrhythmias (Palpitations). Fatigue and exhaustion, loss of appetite and headaches can also occur.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.

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