ROCHESTER, Minn. - Mayo Clinic is detailing important research that’s underway looking at the long-term impact of the novel coronavirus on the human heart.
Dr. Leslie Cooper, a cardiologist with Mayo Clinic, says there’s research looking at the risk of heart failure or cardiac damage following a COVID-19 diagnosis.
Cooper says it might take years to determine if patients who recover following hospitalization have damage.
“We don't have a lot of data for either MRI or biopsy related to outcomes and that's because the disease has only existed for a year,” he said. “We need large cohorts to be studied for longer periods of time to know whether, for example, young athletes have a higher risk of arrhythmia. We don't know that yet.”
For now, he says COVID-19 patients should look out for chest pains, shortness of breath when active, or feeling like they may pass out. He says those are all signs of cardiac problems.
He explained, “If a patient is positive for COVID-19 and develops these they should seek medical care. They don't always reflect a cardiac cause but they could be cardiac and they're certainly worth investigating.”
Dr. Cooper says there are dozens of studies being done among younger and older patients using MRI and long-term follow-up to determine the predictors of recovery.