Covid-19 and Heart Health
A growing number of studies are starting to suggest some COVID-19 survivors may experience some type of heart complications down the road, even if they didn’t have underlying heart disease and weren’t sick enough to be hospitalized from the infection.
Nearly a quarter of those hospitalized with COVID-19 have been diagnosed with cardiovascular complications which have been shown to contribute to roughly 40% of all COVID-19-related deaths.
But two recent studies suggest heart damage among those infected may be more widespread. In JAMA Cardiology, an analysis of autopsies done on 39 COVID-19 patients identified infections in the hearts of patients who had not been diagnosed with cardiovascular issues while they were ill.
Another JAMA Cardiology study used cardiac MRIs on 100 people who had recovered from COVID-19 within the past two to three months. Researchers found abnormalities in the hearts of 78% recovered patients and “ongoing myocardial inflammation” in 60%. The same study found high levels of the blood enzyme troponin, an indicator of heart damage, in 76% of patients tested, although heart function appeared to be generally preserved. Most patients in the study had not required hospitalization.
Experts believe there is a group of people who seem to be more affected from the cardiac point of view but it is difficult to identify ahead of time who is at risk. We will certainly learn more about the long term cardiac implications of Covid-19 as time goes by. Talk to your Atrium provider if a heart workup is appropriate for you.
Learn more at https://www.heart.org/en/coronavirus