‘Bad’ cholesterol linked to long COVID and other chronic diseases

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In a study from King’s College of London, scientists found that participants who had higher levels of harmful fats commonly linked to heart disease were more likely to experience ongoing symptoms from both COVID-19 and non-COVID disease.

Previous research focused on the biology of long COVID and examined hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

But this study compared blood markers taken from people living in the community, where the majority of people with COVID have been treated.

In the study, the team analyzed blood markers from 4,787 people. They looked at the full spectrum of COVID-19, from people who had asymptomatic COVID-19 to Post COVID-19 Syndrome (long COVID), as well as participants who reported ongoing symptoms like COVID-19—such as a cough, headache, and fatigue—but who were found to have negative antibodies for the virus.

The analysis of blood markers also showed that those with COVID-19 symptoms for more than 28 days could not be clearly distinguished from those with non-COVID-19 illnesses of prolonged duration and that both had a set of compounds in their blood commonly seen in patients who are at risk of heart disease and diabetes.

The researchers say this association could mean that research looking at ways to treat other diseases might also play a role in COVID-19.

There is a clear difference in blood fats of people who had had asymptomatic COVID-19 compared to those with long-lasting symptoms.

The blood markers in asymptomatic people had a healthier pattern that we know is associated with a lower risk of heart attacks and diabetes.

The people with long-lasting symptoms showed higher levels of ‘bad cholesterol’, and unhealthy fatty acids.

What is interesting is that they saw the same pattern of harmful fats in people with long symptoms of COVID and non-COVID disease.

They think this might shed light on the experience of long COVID, and other conditions, where people take time to recover from illness.

This research follows a recent study that found one in six people report having long COVID symptoms.

If you care about COVID, please read studies that flu, COVID-19, and related vaccines may increase heart disease risk, and this face mask can capture and deactivate COVID-19 virus.

For more information about COVID, please see recent studies that vitamin D level could predict severity of COVID-19, and results showing a universal antibody therapy to fight all COVID-19 variants.

The was conducted by Dr. Marc Österdahl et al and posted on MedRxiv.

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