Vita Gazette

News from Italy

Covid 19, the IRCCS San Raffaele study:

“Cardiovascular risk increases in the first three years”

Vita gazette—The associated increase in cardiovascular risk in COVID-19 patients could last for years and is not limited to the acute phase of the infection.

Those who have caught Covid-19 have a higher risk of heart attack and stroke in the three years after infection. This results from a study published in Cardiovascular Research, conducted by researchers from the IRCCS San Raffaele in Rome in collaboration with scholars from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and the University of Naples “Federico II.”

Researchers studied the evolution of the risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events, such as heart attacks or strokes, in over 200,000 people before and after contracting COVID-19. This is the first study to evaluate this type of risk conducted on the general population and not on hospitalised subjects.

Several studies have already confirmed the increased risk of developing cardiovascular events after contracting COVID-19, but the research available today has always been carried out on small groups of hospitalised patients. Today, however, we know that this risk is not limited only to the acute phase of the infection but can also persist for several years.

The results of comparing the data

The researchers drew from the same database to establish any increased risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events. Still, they consulted data on the years preceding the pandemic, specifically those between 2017 and 2019.

Comparing these two sets of data revealed that the cases of cardiovascular events in the group infected by COVID-19 were double those recorded in the pre-pandemic group.

The study authors explained that based on these results, it is important to follow patients who have had COVID-19, even for extended periods, through follow-up programs to prevent and reduce the risk of events of this type.

“The results showed that the group infected with the COVID-19 virus had approximately double the cases of myocardial infarction, cerebral stroke, heart failure, atrial fibrillation and myopericarditis. A greater risk in the population affected by COVID-19 lasts for at least three years. The significant clinical and social impact, therefore, requires particular attention towards those affected by COVID-19 who must be followed over time due to the possible development of cardiovascular diseases,” explained Prof. Massimo Volpe, Head of the “Centre for Diagnosis and Treatment of Arterial Hypertension and Cardiovascular Complications” of the IRCCS San Raffaele and among the signatories of the study. The scientific work, therefore, calls for planning a more extended follow-up for patients affected by COVID-19 to prevent and promptly manage the potential occurrence of major adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events.

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