Article Title



N. Antiquiera, K. Barth. H. Moo, Z. Stevens, P. Crosswhite

Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA.

Severe Acute Respiratory Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 illness and developed into a global public health crisis in early 2020. While studies have examined the side effects of COVID-19 in the adult population, there are few studies examining young adults. PURPOSE: To assess cardiovascular health in young adults previously diagnosed with COVID-19 who presented with asymptomatic to mild disease. METHODS: Male and female undergraduate Gonzaga University students were recruited (n=16), and all subjects completed a questionnaire including severity of COVID-19 illness and family health history. Oxygen (O2) saturation in the biceps brachii, gastrocnemius, and vastus lateralis was measured during 60 seconds of rest and again during 60 seconds of repeated isotonic contractions using near-infrared spectroscopy sensors. Finally, ultrasound imaging was used to assess cardiac and vascular function. RESULTS: Subjects previously diagnosed with COVID-19 showed no significant difference in carotid artery diameter (0.62±0.05 cm), left ventricular stroke volume (55.7±12.6 mL), cardiac output (3.7±1.2 L/min), and ejection fraction (69.3±35.4%) compared to the control group (0.58±0.04 cm, 41.5±14.5 mL, 3.0±1.5 L/min, and 46.3±22.0%, respectively, p>0.05 for all). There were no significant differences in resting, minimum, or maximum O2 saturation in the COVID group compared to the control group for all three muscles observed. Linear regression analysis revealed a significantly strong and negative relationship between interventricular septum diameter and ejection fraction in COVID subjects (p = 0.04, r = -0.729) but not the control group. CONCLUSION: Our preliminary results indicate there are no long-term cardiovascular health effects in young adults previously diagnosed with asymptomatic or mild COVID-19 illness. The observation that diameter of the interventricular septum could predict ejection fraction in the COVID-19 group requires additional investigation and follow-up studies with increased number of asymptomatic subjects are needed.

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