IF you’ve had Covid and overcome the nasty bug, you might think you’re out of the woods.
But experts have revealed that people who catch coronavirus are at higher risk of a fatal stroke.
Strokes are a medical emergency and occur when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.
There are usually two main causes, it could be because of a blood clot or when a weakened blood vessel supplying the brain bursts
Another related condition is called transient ischemic attack (TIA), where the blood supply to the brain is temporarily interrupted.
Doctors investigating the disease after Covid infection found that people infected with the virus had a 72% higher risk of heart failure after 12 months.
Even those who did not have a serious enough illness to be hospitalized could develop problems.
Writing in Nature Medicine, the doctors warned that long-term effects could be seen in the heart and vascular system.
These include cardiac arrest, heart failure, stroke, irregular heart rhythms, blood clots, blood vessel disease, and inflammatory disorders.
Experts looked at data from more than 11 million American veterans, including 154,000 who had Covid.
They then estimated the one-year risks for about 20 cardiovascular diseases.
The researchers found that those who had had Covid a year earlier had a significantly higher risk than those who had not had the virus.
This risk then increased all the more as their case was serious.
Evelina Grayver, director of women’s heart health at Northwell Health in New York, who was not involved in the study, told Fox News: “There were 20 heart conditions that were diagnosed in patients who suffer from Covid long term.
“The most common is shortness of breath and fatigue.
“New arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms that people experience, are also significant and can become incredibly disabling for many patients.”
It should be noted, however, that the study period ended before the vaccines were available.
So almost all of the veterans studied had not received a single blow when they caught Covid.
Signs of a stroke you need to know
The FAST method – which stands for Face, Arms, Speech, Time – is the easiest way to remember the most common symptoms of a stroke:
F = Droopy face – if one side of a person’s face is droopy or numb ask them to smile, if it is uneven you should seek help.
A = arm weakness – if one arm is weak or numb, you should ask the person to raise both arms. If an arm drifts down, you may need to get help
S = Slurred speech – if a person’s speech is slurred, it could be a sign of a stroke
T = time to call 999 – if someone has the above signs you should call 999 in the UK or 911 in the US for emergency care.
The risks still apply to people who have had Covid, but this research does not cover whether vaccines reduce the potential for developing all 20 conditions.
A series of extremely positive studies show that Omicron is milder than other strains, especially in vaccinees.
Covid booster shots protect against Omicron and offer the best chance of getting through the pandemic, health officials have said repeatedly.
“Covid is an equal opportunity violator,” said Ziyad Al-Aly, the study’s lead author and head of research at the VA St. Louis Health Care System.
“We found an increased risk of cardiovascular problems in older people and in younger people, in people with diabetes and without diabetes, in obese people and in non-obese people, in people who smoked and who never smoked .
“What really worries me is that some of these diseases are chronic diseases that will literally scar people for life,” he said. “It’s not like you wake up tomorrow and you don’t have heart failure anymore.”
It comes after another study found that those who have fought off the infection are at higher risk of a life-threatening disease that already affects five million Britons.
They were 46% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes for the first time within a year after testing positive.
The finding holds true even for people who had less severe symptoms, or none at all.
The 20 states:
- Atrial fibrillation
- Sinus tachycardia
- Sinus bradycardia
- Ventricular arrhythmias
- Atrial flutter
- Acute coronary disease
- Myocardial infarction
- Ischemic cardiomyopathy
- Cardiac arrest
- Non-ischemic cardiomyopathy
- Heart attack
- Cardiogenic shock
- Pulmonary embolism
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Superficial vein thrombosis
*Symptoms and signs of each condition can be found on the NHS website
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