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How COVID-19 Can Cause Heart Damage?

How COVID-19 can cause heart damage?

Although COVID-19 is known as a respiratory virus, doctors believe that coronavirus can directly infect the heart muscles and cause other medical issues that can lead to heart damage.

Photo: COVID-19 | InStyleHealth

As COVID-19 reduces lung function, it may deprive the heart of adequate oxygen. Sometimes it causes overwhelming inflammatory reaction that strains the heart as the body tries to fight off the infection in the body.

The said virus can also invade the blood vessels or can cause inflammation within the blood vessels, that can lead to blood clots where it eventually causes heart failures.

Blood clots throughout the body have been discovered in may COVID-19 patients. This has led some doctors to try blood thinners or the anticoagulants, though there is no agreement on that treatment.

According to Dr. Sean Pinney of the University of Chicago, that people with heart disease are most at risk for virus-related damage to the heart. But heart complications also have been found in COVID-19 patients with no known previous diseases.

Evidence of heart involvement has been found in at least 25% of hospitalized coronavirus patients according to the recent review in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Some centers, the rate is at 30% or higher. Some studies found elevated enzyme levels and other signs suggesting heart damage even in patients with milder disease. It is unknown whether that damage is permanent.

Another minor study found evidence of the virus in the hearts of COVID-19 patients who died from pneumonia. While another study, using heart imaging, discovered inflammation of the heart muscle in four college athletes who had recovered from mild COVID-19 infections. There were no images available, though, from before the athletes got ill, and therefore, no way to know if the athletes had pre-existing heart conditions.

“It’s unclear if the virus can cause a normal heart to become dysfunctional. There is still so much we don’t know,” according to Dr. Tom Maddox, a board member of the American College of Cardiology.

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