Giving the Heart a Push to Help Ease Long COVID

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News Picture: Giving the Heart a Push to Help Ease Long COVID

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 16, 2022 (HealthDay Information)

May a remedy used to deal with chest pain ease the debilitating signs of lengthy COVID?

Sure, claims a small however promising examine that discovered it helped ease fatigue, shortness of breath and different signs in individuals who cannot shake unwanted effects that hang-out them lengthy after their unique coronavirus an infection.

As many as 50% of people that recuperate from COVID-19 might expertise a constellation of such signs, and there is not a lot that docs can do for these sufferers as a result of long COVID is such a brand new entity.

Precisely why some individuals develop lengthy COVID and others do not is not absolutely understood but, however researchers suspect that endothelial dysfunction — which happens when massive blood vessels on the heart‘s floor constrict as a substitute of dilate — might play a job, defined examine writer Sachin Shah.

Enter enhanced exterior counterpulsation (EECP), mentioned Shah, chief scientific officer at Circulation Remedy, a nationwide EECP supplier based mostly in Fort Price, Texas.

Of us who endure EECP are fitted with three units of cuffs on their calves, thighs and decrease hips. These cuffs are inflated sequentially, from the calves as much as the hips, when the heart is at relaxation. This motion pushes oxygen-rich blood all through the guts and to the remainder of the physique, and stimulates the formation of small branches of blood vessels to bypass narrowed arteries, he defined.

“The elevated circulation to the guts helps develop small vessels referred to as collaterals which are a pure protection to heart disease, and the rise of blood circulation all through the physique will increase the general well being of your entire cardiovascular system by rising the dilation and lowering irritation of the blood vessels,” Shah mentioned.

Therapy with EECP lasts one hour, and other people might have as much as 35 periods over seven weeks for optimum outcomes, he mentioned. The fee — roughly $9,500 for 35 therapies at Circulation Remedy — is probably not lined by insurance coverage for treating lengthy COVID, however Shah mentioned he’s working with insurers to get them to foot the invoice.

The brand new examine included 33 individuals with lengthy COVID (common age 54), together with 18 sufferers with no historical past of heart disease, who underwent EECP.

Everybody confirmed enhancements in fatigue, breathing difficulties and chest discomfort after present process 15 to 35 hours of EECP remedy, even in these with no historical past of heart disease, the examine confirmed. EECP advantages can final a number of years for individuals with angina, however extra analysis is required to see how lengthy these enhancements may final for individuals with lengthy COVID, Shah mentioned.

“Lengthy COVID sufferers with and with out coronary artery disease [CAD] who’re affected by marked limitations with extraordinary exercise within the type of fatigue, shortness of breath, chest discomfort and/or brain fog are the best candidates,” Shah mentioned. “After all, in sufferers with out lengthy COVID having symptomatic CAD, EECP can do wonders for them.”

The examine was introduced at a digital assembly of the American Faculty of Cardiology, held from Feb. 16 to 19. Findings introduced at medical conferences needs to be thought-about preliminary till revealed in a peer-reviewed journal.

“That is an fascinating idea that must be studied extra,” mentioned Dr. Erica Spatz. She is an affiliate professor of cardiology on the Yale Faculty of Drugs in New Haven, Conn., and a member of the ACC Science & High quality Committee.

“We do assume there’s a element of endothelial dysfunction with lengthy COVID which will trigger chest pain and exercise intolerance that’s not detected on customary imaging exams,” mentioned Spatz. Making a analysis of endothelial dysfunction requires invasive testing, she added.

SLIDESHOW

Heart Disease: Causes of a Heart Attack See Slideshow

Whereas it does appear to indicate promise for treating long-COVID, EECP will not be extensively obtainable at the moment, she famous.

Extra info

Discover out what the U.S. Nationwide Institutes of Well being is doing to better understand long COVID.

SOURCES: Sachin Shah, PharmD, chief scientific officer, Circulation Remedy, Fort Price, Texas; Erica Spatz, MD, affiliate professor, cardiology, Yale Faculty of Drugs, New Haven, Conn., member, ACC Science & High quality Committee; American Faculty of Cardiology’s Cardiovascular Summit, digital assembly, Feb. 16 to 19, 2022

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