Sao Paulo: Individuals who have overcome severe Covid-19 infections might face elevated risks concerning their blood vessel systems when subjected to mental stress, as per a recent study.
While numerous patients make a full recovery from the illness, prior research has identified cardiovascular issues among survivors of severe Covid-19 infections.
The latest study reveals that this group is more prone to cardiovascular complications, including heightened muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA), responsible for hastening heart rate, along with increased stiffness in the body’s main artery and malfunctions in peripheral blood vessels regulating blood flow and pressure.
Conducted by the D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR) in collaboration with the University of Sao Paulo (USP), the study examined 15 patients who had recuperated from severe Covid-19 cases, comparing them to 15 volunteers of similar age and body mass index (BMI) who had never contracted the disease and had no underlying conditions.
To gauge stress effects, both groups were exposed to a three-minute activity involving rapidly changing images and conflicting sounds. The findings indicated a similar stress increase in all participants, but Covid-19 survivors displayed divergent physiological reactions.
The study found that these survivors’ MSNA levels were already approximately 65% higher than those without Covid-19. However, during the stress activity, the MSNA increase in Covid-19 patients was 128% greater than in the control group.
The research team also assessed vascular responses and analyzed blood flow, vascular function, and mean arterial pressure in the participants’ forearms. Covid-19 patients showed significantly lower levels in the first two aspects compared to the control group, while mean arterial pressure remained consistent among all participants.
Published in the American Journal of Physiology, this study raises an alert about the elevated risk of cardiovascular issues. Survivors of severe Covid-19 are advised to remain vigilant with regular health check-ups and care, even post their apparent recovery from the infection.