COVID Related to Stroke Risk Even a Year Later

According to studies cited by the American Heart Association, people who have had COVID face a much higher risk of dangerous blood clots. The risk of serious health problems related to blood clots, such as heart attack and stroke, is extremely high in people who have recently been infected with the virus. The risk gets lower as time passes from COVID recovery, but these health problems were still significantly more common in people who had the virus, nearly a year later (49 weeks).

A study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation found, that “In the first week after a COVID-19 diagnosis, the risk of such venous problems was 33 times higher. By the third and fourth weeks after diagnosis, the risk was still about eight times higher. And between 27 and 49 weeks later, the risk was still 1.8 times higher than in somebody who had never had COVID-19.”

Who Is at Risk?

People with cardiovascular conditions or risk factors for heart disease or stroke need to take their health and risk factors even more seriously than before the COVID pandemic. Physicians also need to understand their patient's medical histories, including their cardiovascular health and any bouts with COVID to help minimize the chance of a life-threatening blood clot situation.

The study found that the risk of clots post-COVID was greater in both arteries and veins, but the risk for the venous variety persisted longer. The risk was increased for people whether or not they were hospitalized for COVID, but those who were hospitalized for COVID had higher risk factors related to blood clotting.

The occurrence of a blood clot after COVID is still relatively rare, but the increase is significant. According to the Circulation study, “After 1.4 million COVID-19 diagnoses, that corresponds to about 7,200 additional heart attacks or strokes, and 3,500 additional cases of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis or other venous problems.”

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Risk Factors

Studies have shown the enormous impact of COVID on stroke and heart attacks. A study in the prestigious medical journal JAMA found that the risk of stroke was double for COVID-19 patients.

As of August 2022, it was estimated that more than 91 million Americans had at least one case of COVID. According to WebMD, there are likely many more people who had the disease, many without knowing they had it. It is likely that there have been numerous cases that went unreported because the symptoms were extremely mild, the patient recovered without medical attention, or the person did not report the results of at-home positive testing.

People who have been infected with COVID need to pay even more attention to reducing their other risk factors for stroke and heart disease. The CDC lists the following risk factors:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Obesity

Have You or a Loved One Suffered a Stroke after COVID?

The risk of strokes and heart attacks can be reduced by healthy lifestyle changes that reduce cardiovascular risk factors. Some strokes and heart attacks seem to happen without warning, although the risk factors might have been present. In some cases, strokes or the excessive damage of a stroke are caused by medical malpractice or negligence. This can include doctors and physicians who ignore a patient’s risk factors for a serious stroke, including a recent COVID diagnosis. If you suspect medical malpractice resulting in a stroke or heart attack or damage that was caused by a lack of action or late action, contact a legal professional to investigate your situation. At Brown & Barron, we have expertise in the investigation of medical malpractice situations related to stroke, and we can help you investigate your legal options with no out-of-pocket costs. For more information, contact us online or call us for a free, no-obligation case review at (410) 698-1717.

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