Duke Health to Study Impact of COVID-19-Related Heart Inflammation on Athletes

Updated Aug 11, 2021

Dr. Manesh Raman PatelDr. Manesh Raman PatelDuke Health announced plans to expand on their Hearts of Athletes study, which looks at the impact of high-level athletic activities on the heart. The research examines COVID-19-related cardiovascular effects on athletes.

Symptoms of myocarditis or heart inflammation include shortness of breath, chest pain and heart palpitations. The study, funded by The Joel Cornette Foundation, will perform heart tests on 300 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Olympic and professional athletes nationally. Among the participants, 200 previously tested positive for COVID-19, Duke Health reported.

“Even before COVID, we did not have enough information about how the hearts of elite athletes might be different than other healthy people,” said Dr. Manesh Patel, study lead and chief of the Division of Cardiology and the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at Duke University Medical School. “Now with COVID and its potential impact on the heart, it’s more important than ever to understand whether athletes face unique risks or greater protections based on their cardiovascular features.”