Long-Term Adverse Effects of Mild COVID-19 Disease on Arterial Stiffness, and Systemic and Central Hemodynamics: A Pre-Post Study

The study “Long-Term Adverse Effects of Mild COVID-19 Disease on Arterial Stiffness and Systemic and Central Hemodynamics: A Pre-Post Study,” published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, investigates the long-term impact of mild COVID-19 on vascular health.

Here’s a detailed summary:

Title: Long-Term Adverse Effects of Mild COVID-19 Disease on Arterial Stiffness and Systemic and Central Hemodynamics

Authors: Mario Podrug et al.

Background:

  • The study aims to explore the long-term (>7 weeks post-infection) effects of COVID-19 on vascular structure and function, particularly focusing on individuals with mild cases of the disease​​.

Study Design:

  • This pre-post study involved participants who were previously healthy and later diagnosed with mild COVID-19. Baseline measurements were taken up to two years before infection, and post-infection measurements were done 2-3 months after the onset of COVID-19​​.
  • 32 adults participated, undergoing arterial stiffness and central hemodynamic assessments both before and after COVID-19 infection​​.

Methodology:

  • Participants completed health history questionnaires and underwent testing in controlled conditions. Measurements included office blood pressure and various arterial stiffness and hemodynamic parameters, such as carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) and central blood pressures​​.
  • Data analysis involved mean and standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis tests, one-sample tests for significance, and regression models​​.

Key Findings:

  1. Participant Profile: The participants were predominantly young (average age 36.6) and healthy. None developed severe COVID-19 complications or required hospitalization​​.
  2. Arterial Stiffness and Hemodynamic Changes: The study found an average increase in cfPWV, a measure of arterial stiffness, post-COVID infection. However, this increase was not statistically significant at conventional levels (p = 0.052). Other arterial stiffness and hemodynamic parameters did not show significant changes​​.
  3. Age-Related Changes: Age was a moderate predictor of changes in AIx@HR75, an arterial stiffness index, with older participants showing greater changes. This suggests that age may influence the vascular response to COVID-19 infection​​.
  4. Peripheral and Central Hemodynamics: No significant changes were observed in peripheral or central hemodynamics parameters post-COVID infection, though there were some associations with baseline values​​.

Discussion and Implications:

  • The study suggests a complex and time-dependent response of the vascular system to mild COVID-19 infection, leading to increased arterial stiffness and altered hemodynamics.
  • The findings indicate a widespread and long-term pathological process in the vasculature following mild COVID-19, with variations in response likely due to factors like age and pre-existing cardiovascular health.
  • These results align with other studies showing increased arterial stiffness in COVID-19 patients compared to controls, highlighting the importance of monitoring vascular health post-COVID infection, even in cases of mild disease​​.

This study provides valuable insights into the long-term vascular effects of mild COVID-19, emphasizing the need for further research and careful monitoring of cardiovascular health in COVID-19 survivors.

Read More: https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0383/12/6/2123

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