Even mild to moderate SARS-CoV-2 infection can cause an imbalance in the cardiovascular system of young adults without pre-existing conditions.
This is the conclusion of research carried out at the Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp), which also indicates that obesity and low level of physical activity are determining factors in the post-Covid-19 period that contribute to alter the autonomic nervous system, responsible for vital body functions such as blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. The information comes from the Fapesp agency.
The work, supported by Fapesp, followed individuals aged 20 to 40 before being vaccinated.
“These results give us elements to encourage people, even with mild symptoms of Covid, to seek further diagnosis after contamination. The baggage triggered by the virus can have consequences and the patient does not know it ”, assesses the coordinator of the project, Professor Fábio Santos de Lira, from the Department of Physical Education of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the Unesp, campus Presidente Prudente and one of the authors of the study. published article in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
The key finding was that even in mild and moderate infections, young adults infected with SARS-CoV-2 exhibited: greater sympathetic activity (a system that adjusts the body to resist situations of danger, intense exertion and stress); less parasympathetic activity (responsible for calming the body after a stressful situation); and overall variability compared to uninfected individuals. That is, in the post-Covid group, there was an increase in heart rate and less body activity to “stop” that rate.
The obese and the inactive suffered more
When comparing overweight and obese and/or physically inactive individuals, cardiac autonomic modulation showed worse indices. With this, the results provide new insights into the role of BMI and physical activity in the dysregulation of post-Covid-19 infection that may aid in understanding the pathophysiology and treating subsequent acute symptoms. .
“We did not expect such an altered cardiovascular system because they are young and without other diseases. Our work shows that people infected with Covid, even without severe symptoms, can show significant functional changes. For example, this variation in the heart rhythm can, in the future, become an arrhythmia”, explains postdoctoral fellow at Unesp Luciele Minuzzi, one of the researchers who participated in the article.
The reflection of these variations was recorded in the patients’ daily activities, such as the ability to exercise, climb stairs and even walk. They reported tiredness and fatigue. To detect the problem, you can perform a simple test called a six-minute walk test.
According to Minuzzi, the group had previously shown metabolic dysregulations — such as a higher concentration of blood lipids and altered blood sugar — in patients with SARS-CoV-2 who had more severe conditions and who were hospitalized.