fbpx
Now Reading
Scientists Say COVID-19 May Cause Greater Damage to the Heart Than Previously Thought

Scientists Say COVID-19 May Cause Greater Damage to the Heart Than Previously Thought

Scientists now believe that COVID-19 patients suffer more than just respiratory issues. Several studies have revealed that the virus can also cause serious and chronic damage to the heart. And for those with a pre-existing heart condition, the threat is even greater.

A September 2020 study found that the risk of a first heart attack increased by three to eight times in the first week after a COVID-19 infection was diagnosed. The study, published by the medical journal The Lancet, followed nearly 87,000 people in Sweden infected over an eight-month period. Their risk of stroke increased up to six times.

Even a mild infection can cause damage, most often from myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart that occurs two to three times in every 1,000 COVID-19 cases.

Another study published in February in Nature Medicine looked at Department of Veterans Affairs health data for about 153,000 veterans who contracted the virus. Researchers found the veterans suffered from an elevated risk of several heart conditions for up to a year afterward. The veterans also had a higher likelihood of experiencing irregular heart rhythms and potentially deadly blood clots, the study found. They had a 52 percent higher risk of stroke, a 63 percent higher risk of heart attack, and a 72 percent increased risk of heart failure. The study showed that even those who weren’t hospitalized had a higher likelihood of cardiac issues. Severe COVID-19 symptoms indicated an even greater risk.

COVID-19 can spread through the bloodstream, leaving damaged cells. The same virus proteins so adept at attaching to cells in the lower respiratory system can also attach to heart tissue, said Dr. Richard Becker, a physician, professor, and director of the Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The body’s immune response to the invading virus, he said, can also increase inflammation and the amount of injured heart tissue. As many as 20 percent of people with severe COVID-19 show signs of heart damage, Dr. Becker said.

See Also

What's Your Reaction?
Excited
0
Happy
0
In Love
0
Not Sure
0
Silly
0

© 2021 Hillreporter.com

Scroll To Top