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Screenings to detect cardiovascular damage should become routine for COVID-19 patients, say Sermo doctors

February is American Heart Month—which has become more pressing than ever during the pandemic. According to the American Heart Association, “A growing number of studies suggest many COVID-19 survivors experience some type of heart damage, even if they didn’t have underlying heart disease and weren’t sick enough to be hospitalized…Nearly one-fourth of those hospitalized with COVID-19 have been diagnosed with cardiovascular complications, which have been shown to contribute to roughly 40% of all COVID-19-related deaths…This latest twist has health care experts worried about a potential increase in heart failure.” Sermo physicians could not agree more. 

In a recent poll of about 450 global physicians, 93% said they fear the Covid pandemic could lead to an increase in cases of heart failure; and 94% are concerned that people who have had Covid don’t understand they may be at an increased risk of heart issues. In addition, 48% of doctors have personally witnessed long-term effects on heart health in Covid patients. And 90% believe that screenings to detect cardiovascular damage should become a routine part of follow-up care for all COVID-19 patients.

Here is more of what Sermo physicians have to say on this topic:

I have seen the appearance of post-COVID atrial fibrillation in patients without previous heart disease.

General Practice (GP)

Saw a 48 healthy female who was ∼ 2 months post COVID without XX. Suddenly developed pics and atypical chest pain. Found to have post COVID pericarditis.

Anesthesiology

I have done echocardiograms post infection. I don’t think insurances will pay for cardiac MRIs as it can be difficult getting an MRI.

Would stress test be of help?

Internal Medicine

I”ve seen many cardiovascular complications post-COVID– persistent sinus tachycardia, persistent chest pain of unknown etiology, and pericarditis/myocarditis–most often after mild/moderate initial infection without hospitalization. This is an area that needs continued research.

Family Medicine / Practice (FP)