World Heart Day created by the World Heart Federation reminds people around the world that cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, is the world’s leading cause of death, and annually claims the lives of 18.6 million people, while also highlighting the steps that individuals can take to prevent and control Cardiovascular Diseases.
World Heart Day created by the World Heart Federation reminds people around the world that cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, is the world’s leading cause of death, and annually claims the lives of 18.6 million people, while also highlighting the steps that individuals can take to prevent and control CVD.
Whereas COVID-19 can damage the heart muscle and impair heart function in some people due to several reasons. The coronavirus attaches to angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2) receptors on heart cells before entering cells.
Blood vessel inflammation, damage to small vessels, and blood clots can all be caused by Coronavirus infection, compromising blood flow to the heart or other parts of the body. Significant COVID-19 affects endothelial cells, which are responsible for creating a blood vessel’s outer layer.
The Covid infection causes blood vessel inflammation by affecting the inner surfaces of one’s veins and arteries, obstructing blood flow to the heart. You should contact your doctor right away if you experience symptoms such as dizziness, light-headedness, sudden palpitation, hypertension, vomiting, sweating, or shortness of breath.
– Due to elevated troponin levels in severe COVID-19 cases, Myocarditis was suspected early on in the pandemic, a disease that affects the heart muscle usually goes away on its own as the infection subsides.
– Myopericarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle and sac, has a variety of effects.
– The virus also infects the lining of blood vessels, both those carrying pure blood to organs (arteries) and those carrying impure blood from various organs to the heart (veins). This can also lead to blood clots in the leg veins, a condition known as ‘deep vein thrombosis.‘
– These clots could dislodge and travel to the lung, obstructing blood flow. This is a condition known as pulmonary thromboembolism, which can be fatal if the clot is large. If similar clotting occurs in the heart’s arteries, it can result in a stroke, which can be fatal. These arteries are particularly prone to clot formation, heart attacks, and are frequently seen in Covid patients.
– Even in milder forms of infection, these clotting complications can occur weeks or months after recovery. Blood thinners, such as Rivaroxaban, helps to prevent these complications in certain patients who are at higher risks.
Complications during Post Covid Recovery:
-Cardiovascular complications have been diagnosed in nearly one-fourth of those hospitalized with COVID-19, and have been linked to roughly 40% of all COVID-19-related deaths.
-The virus can even trigger a heart attack if plaque builds up in the arteries. As a result, people who have recovered from Covid are more likely to have a heart attack.
-In post-Covid patients, complications such as heart attack, myocarditis, heart-swelling, low pumping capacity, heart failure, blood clotting, and arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) are common.
Is COVID-19’s heart damage permanent?
If the symptoms are caused by a cardiac condition, the recovery time is determined by the severity of the injury. Covid causes a severe heart attack (acute myocardial infarction), in rare cases. Despite this, some survivors can have minor changes in their heart muscles. It’s unclear how long these changes will last, or how they will influence heart health. It also affects the strength of the heart pumping, but minor variations are not problematic.
Physical therapy, breathing exercises, and, most importantly, time can help someone slowly recover from COVID-19.
What about children’s heart problems after COVID-19?
Children who are infected with the coronavirus do not have as many serious complications as adults. However, a very rare COVID-19 complication known as a multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) can result in serious heart damage, cardiogenic shock, or death. Children who survive MIS-C may develop abnormal heart rhythms and stiffened heart muscle, which makes it difficult for the heart to relax and beat properly.
By Dr. Srinivasa Prasad B V, Consultant – Interventional Cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Bangalore
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