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Aaron Baggish, MD: Making Sense of the Cardiovascular Risks of COVID-19

Several different cardiovascular symptoms have presented in patients with COVID-19.

While the long-term impacts of COVID-19 are not known, investigators are concerned by what is called “long-haul” COVID-19, particularly from a cardiovascular point of view.

During last month’s American Heart Association (AHA) 2021 conference, Aaron Baggish, MD, Director of the Cardiovascular Performance Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, presenting on how clinicians should focus on cardiovascular disease prevention in this patient population.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Baggish said so far basically every cardiovascular symptom imaginable has been presented in some way as part of long-haul COVID-19 cases, including chest pain, palpitations, exercise intolerance, and even some heart failure symptoms.

The diverse set of symptoms makes it challenging for cardiologists and there is still a lot unknown about how the virus will impact patients from a cardiovascular perspective in the years to come.

“I think the only thing we can say with certainty about COVID is that we still have a lot to learn,” Baggish said. “Certainly we have seen patients that have extended complexes after their initial acute COVID-19 infection that have lasted weeks or several months and many of them have recovered. There are a small subset of people that seem to have durable long-haul COVID symptoms throughout many months and really don’t understand why that is.”