The acute and chronic implications of the COVID-19 virus on the cardiovascular system in adults: A systematic review

Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2023 Jan-Feb:76:31-37. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2023.01.003. Epub 2023 Jan 20.


Despite coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) primarily being identified as a respiratory illness, some patients who seemingly recovered from initial infection, developed chronic multi-system complications such as cardiovascular (CV), pulmonary and neurological issues leading to multiple organ injuries. However, to date, there is a dearth of understanding of the acute and chronic implications of a COVID-19 infection on the CV system in adults. A systematic review of the literature was conducted according to PRISMA guidelines and prospectively registered via Prospero (ID: CRD42022360444). The MEDLINE Ovid, Cochrane Library and PubMed databases were searched from inception to August 2022. The search strategy keywords and MeSH terms used included: 1) COVID; 2) coronavirus; 3) long COVID; 4) cardiovascular; and 5) cardiovascular disease. Reference lists of all relevant systematic reviews identified were searched for additional studies. A total of 11,332 records were retrieved from database searches, of which 310 records were duplicates. A further 9887 were eliminated following screening of titles and abstracts. After full-text screening of 1135 articles, 9 manuscripts were included for review. The evidence of CV implications post-COVID-19 infection is clear, and this must be addressed with appropriate management strategies that recognise the acute and chronic nature of cardiac injury in COVID-19 patients. Efficacious management strategies will be needed to address long standing issues and morbidity.

Keywords: Acute illness; COVID-19; Cardiovascular disease; Chronic disease.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Heart
  • Humans
  • Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome
  • SARS-CoV-2