CINCINNATI — Even for people who recover from COVID-19, some doctors say they could still face heart problems months after recovery.
"Fifteen to 20% of individuals who were sick enough to require hospitalization had signs of heart damage," Dr. Richard Becker, a heart specialist at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, said.
Becker said about 80% of the most severely affected patients showed signs of heart inflammation or heart injury three months after they were initially hospitalized for COVID-19.
If you have recovered from COVID-19, some of the symptoms you should watch out for include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, fatigue, marked impairment of stamina, dizziness, light headedness or loss of consciousness.
"Any one of those signs and symptoms can suggest that the heart is weakened or it is irritable with a predisposition to irregularities of the heart rhythm that can be life threatening," Becker said.
However, Becker also said he feels like as we come to understand COVID-19 better, we can help with recovery for all aspects of the virus, including secondary and tertiary illnesses like heart problems.
"From our experience of taking care of very very sick patients," Becker said, "we can translate that into what recovery looks like. What medication should be utilized and how people should be followed over time to make sure that their recovery is a full and uncomplicated recovery."