‘Covid may cause arterial stiffness’
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The Covid-19 has caused arterial stiffness in some patients for weeks even after recovery, a study conducted at the All India Institute of Medical Science-Patna (AIIMS-P) during the second wave revealed. The Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine has published the abstract of this study conducted by a team of doctors led by Dr Sanjeev Kumar of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery and nodal officer of the Covid facility at AIIMS-Patna. The sample size for the research included patients undergoing treatment in the hospital ICUs and wards.

Others associated with the research included AIIMS-P director Dr PK Singh, Dr Abhyuday Kumar, Dr Divendu Bhushan, Dr Amarjeet Kumar, Dr Ajeet Kumar and Dr Veena Singh. “The data obtained during the tests indicated that moderate and severe Covid patients had extremely significant increase in arterial stiffness in comparison to those with mild symptoms,” he said.

Dr Neeraj Kumar, in-charge of the research project, said all the measured parameters confirmed the increase in arterial stiffness as per the Covid disease severity in unison. This study established the functional deterioration of arteries in proportion with severity of Covid infection. “The effect of arterial stiffness could vary from one patient to another. Even after recovery, they are at risk of heart attack, brain stroke, vision loss and renal failure,” Dr Neeraj said.

Such patients should regularly check and control their arterial stiffness to maintain cardiovascular health. The common symptoms of post-Covid arterial stiffness are features of hypertension, shortness of breath, fatigue, lack of sound sleep and sweating, he said. Dr Neeraj even advised people who recovered from the Covid infection to visit the AIIMS-P for test of their arterial stiffness so as to reduce the risk of long-term complications.?