The researchers utilized national insurance claims data, laboratory results, and mortality data obtained from the Social Security Administration's Death Master File and Datavant Flatiron data to establish the link between long COVID and health outcomes. The study found that patients with long COVID were more likely to experience adverse outcomes, such as cardiac arrhythmias, pulmonary embolism, ischemic stroke, coronary artery disease, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma.
Additionally, individuals with long COVID had an increased mortality rate of 2.8% compared to 1.2% in controls, indicating an excess death rate of 16.4 per 1000 individuals. The researchers concluded that there is a need for continued monitoring for at-risk individuals, especially in the area of cardiovascular and pulmonary management.
Among the many puzzling aspects of COVID-19 has been the variable recovery time and range of complications experienced by many individuals, in a condition called long COVID. People with long COVID can experience a range of cardiovascular complications, including stroke, cardiac arrhythmias, pulmonary embolism, coronary artery disease, and heart failure.
Various physiological effects could be at play in this condition. Firstly, the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 can directly infect and damage endothelial cells, which line the blood vessels. This can lead to inflammation and clotting, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular events. COVID-19 can also cause widespread inflammation throughout the body, including the cardiovascular system, which can contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease.
Some medications used to treat COVID-19, such as steroids and anticoagulants, can also have side effects that may contribute to cardiovascular complications.