Even those with mild COVID-19 infections can experience health complications that persist for months or even years after the initial infection. Approximately 19% of US adults who have tested positive for COVID-19 suffer from “long COVID,” which refers to ongoing symptoms that persist for four or more weeks after the acute phase of the illness. Researchers from Intermountain Health in Salt Lake City have conducted a study on nearly 150,000 patients to understand the potential cardiovascular symptoms associated with long COVID.
The study found that patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 had a higher incidence of chest pain in the six months to one year after the initial infection. Although the study did not show significant rates of heart attacks or strokes in patients who had a mild initial infection, persistent chest pains could indicate future cardiovascular complications.
The research was presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 2023 Scientific Conference in New Orleans on March 5th. The study involved comparing three groups of Intermountain Health patients: those who tested positive for COVID-19 and were treated in an outpatient setting, those who tested negative for COVID-19, and a group of patients seen prior to the pandemic.