COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Two studies published this week show heart damage in patients after they've recovered from the coronavirus. It provides new evidence about the lasting impacts of COVID-19.
The studies from JAMA Cardiology claim 78 of 100 patients identified from a testing site in Germany revealed cardiac involvement after recovering from the virus. Sixty of the same patients showed heart inflammation.
Dr. Michael Kim with Colorado Springs Cardiology reviewed a recently published autopsy study. While it could indicate troubling trends about the long-term effects of COVID-19, Kim says more research is needed.
“They were all patients that succumbed to complications from COVID-19," he said. "But what it did show, is that there was some heart muscle damage or heart muscle inflammation that could be associated with the virus.”
Dr. Kim tells KRDO his office is also seeing an increase in patients with takotsubo cardiomyopathy, better known as broken heart syndrome. A national study claims cases of broken heart syndrome doubled compared to pre-pandemic.
“We’ve actually seen that here at our hospital as well, where patients are coming in with acute heart attack symptoms, and their heart arteries are all normal," Kim said. "But it’s a stress-induced phenomenon probably related to COVID, or the things surrounding COVID.”
It makes sense to Katie Clarke.
“As a school counselor, I’m not surprised by it," Clarke said. "I know a lot of single people are feeling really lonely right now.”
Those feelings could be exaggerated in parts of the country hit hardest by the virus.
“Especially in more strict areas, where quarantine is more mandated, people can be pretty lonely," Faith Janssen, who was visiting Colorado Springs from Kansas, said. "When you’re isolated, you can go a little crazy almost.”