Can cholesterol levels increase the risk of persistent COVID?
The team said people with persistent symptoms showed higher levels of ‘bad cholesterol’ and unhealthy fatty acids.
The analysis also showed that people with COVID symptoms for more than 28 days were not clearly distinguishable from those without persistent COVID disease. Both have a set of compounds in the blood commonly seen in patients at risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Experts say this association could mean that research looking to treat other diseases may also play a role in COVID.
Dr Marc Osterdahl, clinical member and lead author of King’s said: “We have seen a clear difference in blood lipids of people with asymptomatic COVID-19 compared with those with prolonged symptoms.
“We were able to see if the changes we saw were specific to COVID or if they reflected something more general in terms of persistent symptoms. What’s interesting is that we’ve seen the same pattern of harmful fats in people with persistent COVID and non-COVID symptoms, adds Dr. Claire Steves, co-author and study lead in the ZOE Health Study.
“We think this can shed light on prolonged experiences with COVID and other conditions where people need time to recover from illness,” Steves said.