Sports & COVID-19: Few athletes suffer from heart diseases after COVID

Sports, as we see now, are in the form of entertainment and business. Nowadays, sport just might help in fighting the pandemic aka COVID-19 that has lasted long enough. 

As the study shows, athletes with COVID have fewer inflammatory heart disease cases than the general population. Also, the study’s proved that sports help with the production of antioxidants which is vital for the body’s defense mechanism.

As our world is still coping with the novel COVID-19; many people are concerned about their health due to side effects that might occur once they test positive for COVID.

sports & COVID-19
Few athletes are less likely to suffer from heart diseases after COVID-19

Also, many people who tested positive recover entirely within few weeks. But some people, even with a mild version of the disease, continue to experience symptoms after their initial recovery.

The virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19 affects various organs and systems in the body, including the cardiovascular system (heart), pulmonary system (lungs).

Likewise, many studies are carried out to find the solution to handle the consequences of Covid-19 more effectively.

Few athletes suffered from heart-related diseases after COVIV-19

JAMA Cardiology did one such study which includes research from medical experts representing the NFL, MLB, MLS, NBA, NHL, WNBA, and their respective players’ associations.

The study showed very few cases of inflammatory heart disease in athletes that previously tested COVID positive. This has ensured the safe return of players back to the field to fight and win championships.

They have to go through a cardiac screening program with prior COVID-19 infection for the athletes’ safe return.

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Scientific study

The screening programs based on the American College of Cardiology recommendations detect severe conditions resulting from the virus.

“We felt it was crucial to share our best practices as we were all struggling with the same things,” said Gary Green, MLB’s medical director and one of the many study’s authors.

She then further added, 

“Once we realized we had these numbers [of cases], we started talking to the various cardiologists who work with our different leagues and players’ associations to come up with a collaborative effort.”

The data collected from athletes who tested positive between May and October of last year showed athletes developed severe heart disease at a far lower rate than the general population.

Five out of 789 athletes (i.e., only 0.6%) of the athletes were found to have myocarditis or pericarditis. Likewise, more than 7 percent of all coronavirus-positive patients had these conditions.

Regular Exercise, Diet & Health Checkups 

As the study published last year in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association, shows that athletes tend to have a lesser risk of getting heart-related complications than the general public.

Similarly, this may be due to the efforts players tend to put into maintaining their health always to be fit and ready for the competition. Followed by their diet, regular exercise, health checkups, and many more.

As sports have mainly taken entertainment or earned money, people tend to forget how effective masks can be to be healthy. Recognizing the power of sport, 118 member states of the UN have called all states to have sport and physical activity in their recovery plans after COVID-19.

Signatories did not forget to praise the contribution of sport and physical activity on promoting health.

The statement goes, 

“Despite our many urgent priorities, sport and physical activity remain essential for our well-being in this time of hardship. They benefit both our physical and mental health and help reduce stress and anxiety.” 

Coronaviruses and COVID-19 are still mostly unknown, and scientific researchers are just beginning to understand how they work precisely.

sports & COVID-19
Regular exercise contributes to better health

To protect from the virus, vaccines are developed. However, the long-term effects may still be seen in people. Hence, to prevent those effects, the sport can play a protective role.

Sports include physical activities, which are mainly beneficial for the production of specific antioxidants. It might have a protective effect against several diseases and health problems, several of which are part of the consequences of COVID-19.

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Antioxidant and their benefits

Zhen Yan and his colleagues from the University of Virginia did one study on the effect of exercise on the production of specific antioxidants and its consequences on health. It shows that physical activity tends to increase antioxidant production called extracellular superoxide dismutase (EcSOD).

This antioxidant would play a fundamental role in the body’s defense mechanisms in the context of several cardiac, pulmonary pathologies. EcSOD (the antioxidant) could also play a protective role in the event of inflammatory syndromes. 

By blocking superoxides’ action, these antioxidants could limit the occurrence of the famous “cytokine storms.” They are the source of many complications linked to the new coronavirus.

A better understanding of the role of sport and physical activities and the antioxidants produced by it could help doctors with coronavirus and its consequences and rehabilitation of patients.

Regular sport is likely to strengthen the body’s ability to defend itself against viruses. It’s important to remember that most people who have COVID-19 recover quickly.

But the potentially long-lasting problems from COVID-19 make it even more important to keep our body healthy by doing sport.

It’s difficult to predict the long-term outcomes from the new coronavirus. Hence, it’s more important to reduce the consequences and long-term effects of coronavirus. So, people need to emphasize playing sports while maintaining social distancing and wearing masks.

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