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Long-Term Cardiovascular Effects of COVID-19: Emerging Data Relevant to the Cardiovascular Clinician

COVID-19 is now a global pandemic and the illness affects multiple organ systems, including the cardiovascular system. Long-term cardiovascular consequences of COVID-19 are not yet fully characterized. This review seeks to consolidate available data on long-term cardiovascular complications of COVID-19 infection. Acute cardiovascular complications of COVID-19 infection include myocarditis, pericarditis, acute coronary syndrome, heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, right ventricular dysfunction, and arrhythmia. Long-term follow-up shows increased incidence of arrhythmia, heart failure, acute coronary syndrome, right ventricular dysfunction, myocardial fibrosis, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus. There is increased mortality in COVID-19 patients after hospital discharge, and initial myocardial injury is associated with increased mortality. Emerging data demonstrates increased incidence of cardiovascular illness and structural changes in recovered COVID-19 patients. Future research will be important in understanding the clinical significance of these structural abnormalities, and to determine the effect of vaccines on preventing long-term cardiovascular complications.

Authors: Tobler, Diana L; Pruzansky, Alix J; Naderi, Sahar; Ambrosy, Andrew P; Slade, Justin J

Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2022 07;24(7):563-570. Epub 2022-05-04.

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