Unvaccinated COVID Survivors at Greater Risk of Heart Complications

SINGAPORE: A comprehensive national study, spearheaded by researchers from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), has revealed alarming findings regarding the long-term health implications of unvaccinated individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.

Based on the medical records of 106,012 individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 between Sept 1 and Nov 31, 2021, during the Delta variant’s predominance, the study highlights a significant risk of heart complications in such patients almost a year later.

The research, published in the Clinical Infectious Diseases medical journal in September, delves into the aftermath of COVID-19 infection, particularly focusing on the persistence of symptoms and the development of “long Covid” syndrome.

Many of the 912 patients who had recovered from COVID-19 reported lingering health issues. These post-COVID symptoms included persistent fatigue, shortness of breath, memory problems, and, notably, heart complications such as cardiovascular problems, cerebrovascular issues, and thrombosis.

The study took a comparative approach by analyzing the COVID-19 positive group’s health outcomes against a group of nearly 1.7 million individuals from the community who were not known to have been infected with the virus during the same period. Both groups were tracked for an average of 300 days, focusing on the development of ‘long Covid’ syndrome and, more specifically, heart complications.

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What sets this study apart is its focus on a highly vaccinated, multi-ethnic Southeast Asian population, making it the first and largest of its kind. Collaborating institutions included NTU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Singapore’s Ministry of Health, Singapore General Hospital, and the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, Singapore.

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