COVID-19 & Cardiovascular Events
September 30, 2021
Mortality from heart attacks has doubled during the pandemic. COVID-19 carries a high risk of causing heart inflammation among people with cardiovascular comorbidities. There are a large number of people admitted to hospitals due to various cardiovascular risk factors – such as cardiac decompensation, heart failure, heart attack, cerebrovascular accident (CVA). Cardiovascular complications are mainly associated with obesity, which is growing alarmingly, in addition to hypertension, diabetes, sedentary lifestyle and cholesterol.
According to a study published by the WHO in march 2021, COVID-19 has emerged as the 3rd leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer. Dr.Ashok Kumar, Senior Consultant – Interventional Cardiologist at Rela Heart Centre warns that COVID not only affects the lungs but also the heart. “What we have seen is that 80% of patients discharged after recovering from COVID-19 have some heart sequelae.This is regardless of whether they had a mild, moderate or severe form of COVID-19”
COVID-19 generates fibrosis in the lungs and also affects other organs within the human body such as the heart, liver or pancreas. In the case of the heart, it reaches the heart muscle, inflames the myocardium (Myocarditis) which could lead to arrhythmia and heart attack. People with established risk factors such as high blood pressure, previous cardiac arrhythmias, previous heart failure or other comorbidities might encounter more severe cardiac complications and that should not be taken lightly.
Dr.Ashok Kumar further goes on to say “The mortality from heart attacks has doubled during the pandemic. Before COVID, not all heart attacks resulted in death. Of every 4 patients with heart attacks, 3 were saved. With COVID, two patients lose their lives and the other two are saved. There has been a duplication of heart attacks”
All post-COVID patients must schedule periodic visits to the cardiologist. Since some types of sequelae are not necessarily related to the heart, a full check-up is required to determine the patient’s overall health. The pulmonary fibrosis leading to hypertension
Post-COVID patients could end up with heart failure in a few years, if left unaddressed. This can be avoided with the periodic cardiologist consultation