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Long-term cardiovascular health status and physical functioning of nonhospitalized patients with COVID-19 compared with non-COVID-19 controls
K.M. van der Sluijs, E.A. Bakker, T.J. Schuijt, , M. Kavousi, G.-J. Geersing, F.H. Rutten, Y.A.W. Hartman, D.H.J. Thijssen, T.M.H. Eijsvogels
Published in American Physiological Society
PMID: 36459448
Volume: 324
Issue: 1
Pages: H47 - H56
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is reported to have long-term effects on cardiovascular health and physical functioning, even in the nonhospitalized population. The physiological mechanisms underlying these long-term consequences are however less well described. We compared cardiovascular risk factors, arterial stiffness, and physical functioning in nonhospitalized patients with COVID-19, at a median of 6 mo postinfection, versus age- and sex-matched controls. Cardiovascular risk was assessed using blood pressure and biomarker concentrations (amino-terminal pro-B-type-natriuretic-peptide, high-sensitive cardiac troponin I, C-reactive protein), and arterial stiffness was assessed using carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity. Physical functioning was evaluated using accelerometry, handgrip strength, gait speed and questionnaires on fatigue, perceived general health status, and health-related quality of life (hrQoL). We included 101 former patients with COVID-19 (aged 59 [interquartile range, 55-65] yr, 58% male) and 101 controls. At 175 [126-235] days postinfection, 32% of the COVID-19 group reported residual symptoms, notably fatigue, and 7% required post-COVID-19 care. We found no differences in blood pressure, biomarker concentrations, or arterial stiffness between both groups. Former patients with COVID-19 showed a higher handgrip strength (43 [33- 52] vs. 38 [30-48] kg, P = 0.004) and less sleeping time (8.8 [7.7-9.4] vs. 9.8 [8.9-10.3] h/day, P < 0.001) and reported fatigue more often than controls. Accelerometry-based habitual physical activity levels, gait speed, perception of general health status, and hrQoL were not different between groups. In conclusion, one in three nonhospitalized patients with COVID-19 reports residual symptoms at a median of 6 mo postinfection, but we were unable to relate these symptoms to increases in cardiovascular risk factors, arterial stiffness, or physical dysfunction. © 2023 the American Physiological Society.
About the journal
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
PublisherAmerican Physiological Society