Ohio State study finds student athletes with COVID-19 show signs of heart damage

One in five college football games was canceled this season over coronavirus worries

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A new study revealed student-athletes who have had COVID-19 are likely to have heart damage after battling the deadly virus.

Fox 2 reported, researchers at The Ohio State University shared data that highlighted the effects coronavirus has on student athletes long-term health. According to the data, more than two dozen athletes who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 were included in the study. Of those athletes, more than 30% had cellular heart damage. 15% of the student athletes surveyed exhibited signs of heart inflammation caused by myocarditis.

Read More: Michigan’s COVID-19 outbreak cancels game against Ohio State

 The 26 Ohio State University athletes included were monitored and the results were gained using a process known as cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR).

“Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging has the potential to identify a high-risk cohort for adverse outcomes and may, importantly, risk-stratify athletes for safe participation,” study authors wrote according to Fox 2. “Recent studies have raised concerns of myocardial inflammation after recovery from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), even in asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients.”

The Big Ten Conference, the athletic division in which OSU plays, attempted to cancel the 2020-2021 football season due to the coronavirus pandemic. While some agreed, many student-athletes, parents, and school officials insisted on carrying out the season. theGrio reported the Buckeye’s starting quarterback Justin Fields helped lead the charge against canceling football with a petition.

“We, the football players of the Big Ten, together with the fans and supporters of college football, request that the Big Ten Conference immediately reinstate the 2020 football season,” the petition stated. The players eventually were granted a season on October 24, several weeks after the intended start date.

According to USA Today, locations with college football teams have seen an increase in coronavirus cases since the season started across multiple divisions. The news outlet reported as of mid-November “counties in which Power Five schools are located have seen an even larger spike in COVID-19 cases than the nationwide average, with communities in the Big Ten and Big 12 experiencing the most dramatic increases in their seven-day averages of daily new cases per 100,000 residents.”

Read More: Ohio State defensive lineman, Haskell Garrett, shot

The New York Times reported one in five college football games was canceled this season thus far over coronavirus worries, according to N.C.A.A. data. The rapid spread of coronavirus is not however stopping the organization from moving into basketball season. According to the outlet, the N.C.A.A. is advising athletes and staff to get tested for COVID-19 at least three times a week and athletes are welcome to opt-out of the season in exchange for an extra scholarship year.

Big Ten Championship
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – DECEMBER 19: Justin Fields #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Northwestern Wildcats in the Big Ten Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 19, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

 The Ivy League was the first division 1 conference to cancel winter sports. According to a news release, the Ivy League Council of Presidents made the decision.

“The unanimous decisions by the Ivy League Council of Presidents follow extended consideration of options and strategies to mitigate the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, an analysis of current increasing rates of COVID-19 – locally, regionally and nationally – and the resulting need to continue the campus policies related to travel, group size and visitors to campus that safeguard the campus and community,” the statement noted.

For some student-athletes, it may, however, be too late. theGrio reported Florida Gators basketball player Keyontae Johnson collapsed during a game and afterward, received a diagnosis of myocarditis. Johnson tested positive for coronavirus earlier in the summer, as well as additional members of his team.

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