Long Covid patients are more likely to experience cardiac complications such as chest pain, and abnormal heart rhythms for long-term, according to a study.

Prior reviews synthesised findings of studies on long-term cardiac complications of Covid-19, said researchers from the University of Washington. But, the reporting and methodological quality of these studies has not been systematically evaluated.

To understand, the team reviewed 150 studies on 57 cardiac complications that persisted for at least 1 month after Covid-19 infection. They also conducted a meta-analysis of 137 studies on 17 complications.

The studies were published from January 2020 to July 2023.

Their results, published in the journal BMC Medicine, showed that the most widely examined cardiac complications were chest pain (9.8 per cent) and arrhythmias (8.2 per cent).

Less-examined complications were stroke (0.5 per cent), heart abnormalities (10.5 per cent), thromboembolism (1.4 per cent), high blood pressure (4.9 per cent), heart failure (1.2 per cent), myocardial injury (1.3 per cent), myocarditis (0.6 per cent), abnormal ventricular function (6.7 per cent), edema (2.1 per cent), coronary disease (0.4 per cent), ischemic heart disease (1.4 per cent), valve abnormalities (2.9 per cent), pericardial effusion (0.8 per cent), atrial fibrillation (2.6 per cent), and impaired diastolic function (4.9 per cent).

“We found there were diverse manifestations of cardiac complications, and many can last for months and even years,” said the researchers in the paper.

“Reported findings from previous studies are strongly related to study quality, sample sizes, sampling methods, and designs, underscoring the need for high-quality epidemiologic studies to characterise these complications and understand their aetiology,” they added.

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