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How COVID-19 increases the risk of cardiovascular problems 

Medicover Genetics Editorial Team |
February 17th 2022

Researchers found that even a mild case of COVID-19 can increase a person’s risk of cardiovascular problems for at least a year after diagnosis. The rates of many conditions, such as heart failure and stroke, were substantially higher in people who had recovered from COVID-19 compared to uninfected people. Read more about this study under Article 2.

Article 1: Immunology of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children 

To date, all the available studies have revealed that both adults and children respond similarly to asymptomatic or mild COVID-19. However, a significant difference was found between children and adults who required hospitalization due to COVID-19. Scientists reported that adults are vulnerable to severe COVID-19 infection due to issues in IFN signaling and disorders of T cell development functions. Furthermore, an elevated level of inflammatory cytokines (e.g., IFN-α, IFN-γ, IL-1β, IL-6,) has been associated with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). In summary: the immune response of children and adults to mild SARS-CoV-2 infection are similar, but diverge after the development of severe disease.  

Article 2: Long-term cardiovascular outcomes of COVID-19

This study reports that even a mild case of COVID-19 can increase a person’s risk of cardiovascular problems for at least a year after diagnosis. Researchers found that rates of many conditions, such as heart failure and stroke, were substantially higher in people who had recovered from COVID-19 compared to uninfected people. The risk was elevated even for those who were under 65 years of age and lacked risk factors, such as obesity or diabetes. The research is based on an extensive health-record database curated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.  

Article 3: Durability of anti-spike antibodies in infants after maternal COVID-19 vaccination or natural infection

Vaccination during pregnancy resulted in more lasting antibody levels in infants compared to infants born to unvaccinated, COVID-infected mothers. The study included individuals vaccinated with two doses of an mRNA vaccine or infected at 20 to 32 weeks of gestation, when transfer of antibodies through the placenta has shown to be at its peak. Antibody levels were higher in vaccinated mothers and their umbilical cord blood at delivery than in those study participants infected with COVID-19. The majority of infants born to COVID-vaccinated mothers had persistent antibodies at 6 months, compared with infants born to unvaccinated, COVID-infected mothers.  

Article 4: The effectiveness of vaccination against long COVID – A rapid evidence briefing

Vaccinated people are less likely to develop long COVID after a COVID infection compared to unvaccinated individuals. This review reports on the effectiveness of vaccination against long COVID. It comprises a number of UK and international studies containing a large number of participants. The review concludes that, in addition to benefits obtained by not catching COVID, those people who do catch COVID are less likely to develop long COVID if they have received one or two doses of COVID vaccine compared with unvaccinated individuals.  

References

[1] Chou J et al. Immunology of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children. Nat Immunol. 2022 Feb;23(2):177-185. doi: 10.1038/s41590-021-01123-9. Epub 2022 Feb 1. PMID: 35105983; PMCID: PMC8981222. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41590-021-01123-9

[2] Xie Y et al. Long-term cardiovascular outcomes of COVID-19. Nat Med. 2022 Mar;28(3):583-590. doi: 10.1038/s41591-022-01689-3. Epub 2022 Feb 7. PMID: 35132265; PMCID: PMC8938267. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-022-01689-3

[3] Shook LL et al. Durability of Anti-Spike Antibodies in Infants After Maternal COVID-19 Vaccination or Natural Infection. JAMA. 2022 Mar 15;327(11):1087-1089. doi: 10.1001/jama.2022.1206. PMID: 35129576; PMCID: PMC8822441. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2788986

[4] UK Health Security Agency. The effectiveness of vaccination against long COVID. Retrieved 16 February from https://ukhsa.koha-ptfs.co.uk/cgi-bin/koha/opac-retrieve-file.pl?id=fe4f10cd3cd509fe045ad4f72ae0dfff

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