Corona: study proves heart damage in majority of recovered patients

The Frankfurt University Hospital Has published a study that Heart damage Has been found in a large proportion of Corona recovered people. After the patients negatively on Covid-19 the research team led by cardiologists Eike Nagel and Verena Puntmann found that 78 percent of those who had recovered still had abnormalities in their hearts. In 60 percent of cases, the researchers even diagnosed a Heart muscle inflammation.

"In our group, we did not observe a correlation between severity of acute infection and the presence as well as extent of cardiac injury," Nagel says.

Corona late effects: Cardiologist suspects immune response as cause

For the study, the cardiologists examined 100 recovered Corona patients of the University Hospital Frankfurt about eight weeks after the corona diagnosis. Those who recovered had an average age of 49; 47 percent were women.

Since the researchers only examined the recovered patients after they no longer showed any symptoms of the disease, they were unable to determine when the heart damage began to appear, explains Nagel. As a cause, he suspects most likely "a Immune response, that is triggered during the defense against the virus."

Damage to the heart occurred regardless of covid progression

According to the study, only one-third of the patients became so severely ill with Covid-19 that a stay in the Hospital became necessary. The rest recovered from Corona infection at home and had mild to moderate symptoms. Read here: How symptom-free virus carriers fuel the Corona pandemic

The severity of heart muscle disease takes a wide range, Nagel explains. "Ten percent of patients had very pronounced inflammation."In another 30 to 40 percent, heart disease was still 'prognostically relevant'".

Corona and heart disease: Further research 'urgently needed'

What the results mean for the Health The researchers say that it is not yet possible to say with certainty whether this will mean the same thing for the patients in the long term. But they could suggest a "potential burden of cardiomyopathy in large and growing segments of the population" in the future. Therefore, confirmation of the results by studies of a larger group of patients is "urgently needed," the study says.

Researchers want to expand study

Nagel and Puntmann's team also plans to expand the study itself to a larger group of participants. "We are currently looking for funding opportunities." says Nagel. The clinical trial will now be conducted in several institutions. In parallel, possible Treatment forms to be investigated.


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