Program follows long-term impact of COVID infection on the heart

Long-term cardiac complications after COVID-19 can include disruptive head rhythms, blood clots, stroke, coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart failure and death.

MIAMI – Studies have found that COVID-19 can increase the risk of heart conditions up to a year after infection.

That’s why the University of Miami Health System has created a designated COVID heart program to follow patients throughout their recovery.

“It can cause infection, inflammation in the heart, something we call myocarditis, and myocarditis can heal in one of two ways,” said Dr. Jeffrey Goldberger, a UHealth cardiologist. “It can simply go away like it was never there or it can heal with some scarring and that’s what we’re concerned about is whether there can be some long-term sequence from the healing of the myocarditis in patients with COVID.”

Long-term cardiac complications include disruptive heart rhythms, blood clots, stroke, coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart failure and death.

According to a recent joint study by researchers in St. Louis, those problems can occur among previously healthy people and even those who had mild coronavirus infections.

Healthy diet

And young adults take note: If you want to add 10 years to your life expectancy just swap foods in a typical western diet with more legumes, whose grains, nuts and less red and processed meat.

Those were the findings of a recent study looking at sustained dietary changes starting at age 20.

The study found that those who change their diet at age 60 could increase their life expectancy by eight years, so it’s never too late to develop healthier habits.

About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.