Up to 15% of college athletes experience heart inflammation after battling COVID-19, a study published Friday by JAMA Cardiology found.
In the analysis, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, revealed evidence of myocarditis in four of 26 football, soccer, lacrosse and basketball players as well as track and field athletes at Ohio State University, the researchers said.
The athletes were examined over the summer, and it’s unclear whether this heart damage will be long-lasting, study co-author Dr. Saurabh Rajpal told UPI. “In these athletes, we found evidence of acute changes to the heart muscle on MRI,” said Rajpal, a cardiologist at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center.
He and his colleagues plan to continue monitoring the health of all 26 athletes and report findings on other athletes at the school if they contract the virus and compare them to evaluations of athletes who have not been infected, he said.
For the Ohio State study, Rajpal and his colleagues performed cardiac MRIs on the 26 athletes after they recovered from the infection.
Of the four athletes with heart inflammation, two had mild COVID-19 symptoms, while the other two remained asymptomatic, the researchers said.
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