Doctors seeing heart issues as lasting side effect in COVID-19 patients

Doctors seeing heart issues as lasting side effect in COVID-19 patients

ATLANTA — This week, a Georgia State University football player announced on Twitter he would be out for the season because he was diagnosed with a heart condition after recovering from COVID-19.

Freshman backup quarterback Mikele Colasurdo said tests done by the university identified the problem.

Dr. Venkat Polsani with the Piedmont Heart Institute said this is another example of how little we know about the lasting impact of COVID-19.

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“We’re learning as we’re going with COVID-19, and the heart conditions right now,” Polsani said.

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He said we’re seeing a significant prevalence of myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart.

Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at 100 people who recovered from COVID-19, and 78% of them had abnormal heart findings. Some 60% of people had myocardial inflammation, independent of preexisting conditions.

“It could affect the heart muscle to the point where they could not participate in athletics,” Polsani said.

He said it affects more than athletes. The effects of the heart inflammation are lasting and can greatly impact your quality of life.

“Some people have minor effects of fat, some people have severe heart failure requiring admission to the care units and some recover after heart transplant,” Polsani said.

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