Warning to anyone who had severe bout of Covid over deadly side effect

ANYONE who has had a severe bout of Covid could be at risk of a deadly complication after recovery.

Even those who are young or previously healthy were at risk of the side effect if they were seriously unwell with Covid, scientists warned. 

Recovery from Covid infection has been linked with the development of a number of chronic conditions.

This includes type 2 diabetes, mental health issues, blood clots, brain damage, heart attack all of which have been shown in research to be more commonly diagnosed in those who have had Covid.

Researchers led by the University of Glasgow studied 159 people who were hospitalised with Covid between May 2020 and March 2021.

They looked for diagnoses of myocarditis in the year after discharge, while also conducting blood tests, CT and MRI scans of the organs. 

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Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle, and can be caused by an infection, such as Covid.

The results showed that one in eight patients were struck with myocarditis.

The condition may cause chest pain or breathlessness just walking up the stairs, flu-like symptoms such as  a high temperature and fatigue, or heart palpitations. 

Overall severity of Covid illness appeared to be the main driver of this side effect, said Professor Colin Berry, principle investigator.

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He said: “One of the most important findings is that it is the severity of a patient’s Covid-19 infection – not their underlying health conditions – that is most closely correlated with the severity of any ongoing health outcomes post discharge. 

“We found that previously healthy patients, without any underlying health conditions, were suffering with severe health outcomes, including myocarditis, post hospitalisation.

“The reasons for this are unclear, but it may be that a healthy person who is hospitalised with Covid-19 is likely to have a worse Covid infection than someone with underlying health conditions who is hospitalised.”

Myocarditis can either be short-term or chronic.

But this study – which will continue for five years – was not able to assess whether Covid-related myocarditis is easily treated.

In long term cases myocarditis can affect the heart muscle and tissue, the British Heart Foundation says, which could lead to heart failure or even an organ transplant. 

The study found that inflammation across the body and damage to the other organs such as the kidneys was also common among participants. 

During a period of 450 days after discharge from hospital, one in seven patients died or were readmitted to hospital, and two in three patients required NHS outpatient care.

When participants were quizzed, it was discovered those with previous Covid hospitalisation had worse health-related quality of life, anxiety and depression.

Women were more likely to get myocarditis, which in turn was linked with lower mental and physical wellbeing, such as capacity to exercise. 

The study, published in Nature Medicine, also tried to uncover why some hospital patients suffer long Covid.

Until now it has been speculated that those with pre-existing health conditions may be more at risk.

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But once again, the study suggests that the severity of the Covid-19 infection itself is the underlying cause. 

The work was funded by the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office, and supported by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) as part of the University of Glasgow BHF Centre of Excellence.

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