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Health experts worry that coronavirus may cause long-lasting heart complications in athletes

This makes him hope that even young and healthy people can take all precautions not to spread the coronavirus, and he knows that small droplets in saliva are ideal containers. Schneider believes that baseball players will not stop spitting because they do not consider or know the consequences of being infected with this virus that can destroy their habit.

“They think,’If you get it, it’s not a big deal; it’s like a cold.” Schneider said. “It may not just be a cold. It may end your sports career. Hope not, but there is a feeling that it is much more serious than what we are considering, or especially what our young athletes are considering.”


Schneider is one of many cardiovascular experts who pay attention to the new and growing evidence of how covid-19 affects the heart. These studies did not target athletes, but their findings have important implications for the sports world. Research has raised the possibility that athletes recovering from covid-19 may face terrible or long-lasting cardiac complications, and medical experts have urged heart screening of athletes who have returned to competition after receiving the virus. After recovering from covid-19, two senior athletes (including the expected starters on the opening day of the Boston Red Sox) reported heart problems.

Many questions remain unanswered, and these questions are at a critical juncture. Fearing about covid-19, dozens of NFL and college football players opted out of the game this year. Thousands of high schools, colleges and professional athletes are re-matching, and it is inevitable that some people will be infected with the virus. Preventing the effects that disease may have on the heart is vital and can even save lives.

Infectious disease and cardiovascular disease experts do not have enough data to draw conclusions about how covid-19 affects the hearts of athletes, and even the latest research in other populations needs further verification. But what they saw shocked them.

Michael Emery, co-director of the Department of Sports Cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic, said: “We are very worried that COVID-19 will affect athletes’ cardiovascular disease.” Any other virus that has ever been high.”

Emery said that cardiologists around the world have published five to six important papers on covid-19 and athletes. Emery said: “All newspapers believe that this virus and the degree of heart involvement of athletes deserve greater attention.” Although the details and recommendations in these papers on how to manage risks are different, “in general people’s The attention is high.”

Dean Winslow, an infectious disease physician at Stanford University, said studies have shown that as many as 20% of people who have recovered from covid-19 show heart abnormalities.

Since the coronavirus began to spread, the lungs have been the center of its impact. The virus enters the human body through the lungs and may cause severe pneumonia, requiring intensive care and intubation. But doctors have long suspected that covid-19 can also affect the heart. Cardiomyocytes have ACE-2 receptors, which coronaviruses can use to enter cells. Schneider said that the lung is the only place in the human body that has more than the heart.

Schneider said: “It turns out that now we have more long-term data. The virus also affects the heart.” “And maybe in a very serious way.”

Jonathan Kim, a sports cardiologist at Emory University, said that a recent study published in Germany and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association is particularly relevant. Researchers performed cardiac MRI examinations on 100 patients who had recovered from covid-19, and two-thirds of them were mild or asymptomatic. Tests showed that 78% of people had some kind of heart abnormality, while 60% had inflammation consistent with myocarditis.

The study was made up of middle-aged people, and Emery said he hopes the athletes as a whole will be better. But the results-people with mild symptoms may have heart complications due to covid-19-still shocked him and his colleagues.

For everyone, these findings are bad news for everyone, but for specific athletes, it is terrible news. Heart infection can cause myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart muscle. Myocarditis can cause arrhythmia, cardiac arrest or even death, especially in people who do not know they have arrhythmia and perform strict exercise.

Among the rare cases of sudden death among athletes, myocarditis is one of the most common causes. Reggie Lewis (Reggie Lewis), a 27-year-old star of the Boston Celtics, fell in practice before the 1993 playoffs and died as a result. Hank Gathers (Hank Gathers) was a 23-year-old from Loyola Marymount. He died of cardiomyopathy in 1990, a type of heart failure often caused by myocarditis. According to the Myocarditis Foundation, myocarditis causes approximately 75 deaths each year in athletes between the ages of 13 and 25.

In early August, the Red Sox ruled out starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, who tested positive for coronavirus at the beginning of the team’s summer camp, the season after MRI showed that he had myocarditis. Rodriguez told reporters: “That’s the most important part of the body, so when you hear this… I’m a little scared.” “Now I know what it is, it’s still scary.”

This week, Deborah Rucker, the mother of Indiana’s offensive sideliner Brady Feney, posted a message online saying that her son had experienced heart disease and other diseases after testing positive for the coronavirus. She told the Indianapolis Star that the school doctor gave Fini an electrocardiogram and performed a blood test. Luke said that the screening has aroused people’s attention, and Feni will ask a cardiologist for further evaluation.

Cardiovascular experts say that the test should be standard. In May, Kim and Emery helped write the American College of Cardiology guidelines to help athletes returning to the game after recovering from covid-19. They emphasized the importance of cardiovascular screening. They said that athletes should undergo an electrocardiogram, an echocardiogram (called an echocardiogram) and blood tests to detect troponin that can show heart damage.

Emery said: “We were worried from the beginning, and our initial guidance was based on cautious consideration.” “Now, the latest MRI data we obtained last week continue to raise this warning level.”

The way that covid-19 may affect even healthy people’s hearts has also received special attention. Earlier this week, Winslow was discharged from the Stanford hospital. He is a “completely healthy” 23-year-old, thin, athletic man. He was 19 years old six weeks ago. She was admitted to the hospital because of an increased heart rhythm. Tests showed that her ejection fraction (the amount of blood leaving the heart during each contraction) was 52%. The normal rate is 65%. The doctor saw abnormal movement of her heart wall.

Winslow said: “I want to remind young people: please, please do not deliberately get the virus, or even take risks.” “Don’t scare anyone, but this is very real.”

The impact of the coronavirus on the heart has less impact on athletes. Eike Nagel, one of the authors of the German study, said in an email that the specific impact on athletes is unclear, but the main point is that they should proceed with caution. Nagel said: “We believe they should avoid high-end competition until they feel really better again.”

Nagel said that although the data is still inconclusive, “I think we will see quite a few infected athletes feeling unwell for a period of time.”

Jin said that myocarditis is a variable disease. Its presentation, its severity and long-term effects are difficult to predict. King said that it is certain that once diagnosed, athletes need to be restricted for at least three months. Therefore, even relatively mild conditions can cause damage to athletes.

“This is a disease process that really requires our respect,” Jin said. “If an athlete decides to quit for the following reasons, [concerns about heart complications should they contract the virus], This is inappropriate. Most people will be fine. Tell the athletes frankly: “Oh, don’t worry. If you know it, it will be okay, “I think that is the wrong message to them.”

However, the most worrying reason for cardiologists is that covid-19 may lead to an increase in disease, which in rare cases can lead to sudden death. The doctor said that although there are few cases, the consequences need to be vigilant.

Schneider said: “The inner problem is that if you do it wrong, then you will… die.” “This is the scary part of the heart. Wrong judgments can be fatal. That’s why it will do sports. The reason for the huge impact. That’s why we need to stop our children from spitting.”

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