Doctors: More COVID-19 patients suffering long-term heart issues

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) – More studies are suggesting COVID-19 could cause lingering cardiovascular issues after a patient has recovered from the virus, even if the initial infection wasn’t serious enough for hospitalization.

“This is a significant thing. This is affecting people’s lives,” said Dr. Anup Kanodia, a functional medicine physician with a private practice in Westerville.

More frequently, Dr. Kanodia explained he’s seeing previously healthy people develop heart issues. Data from recovered COVID-19 patients is finding 70 percent or more experience changes in the heart after the virus.

“This could be right away, or two or three weeks, or two or three months later,” Dr. Kanodia said.

The patients experiencing long-term effects have been called “long-haulers.” Some have symptoms more typically associated with COVID-19, like respiratory issues and chronic fatigue.

Dr. Kanodia explained those with cardiovascular issues may notice the following symptoms or more:

Warning Signs for Heart Issues:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Frequent headaches
  • Light-headedness
  • Arm/jaw pain

It’s too soon to know how long the conditions may last, but Dr. Kanodia said patients can minimize some symptoms by adapting their lifestyles. He pointed to lack of sleep and high stress as possible aggravating factors and recommended supplementing medical treatments with vitamins and proper nutrition to address any underlying problems.

“The heart’s a muscle. The better we keep our heart healthy, the less damage it’s going to have,” he said.

Dr. Kanodia and an OhioHealth cardiologist are planning to hold a free online panel discussion on February 24th at 3pm. You can register for the event by clicking here: Heart Health: An Integrative Approach

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