COVID-19 and Cardiovascular Disease
Evidence of Cardiovascular Disease Induced by COVID-19
Since the onset of the COVID pandemic strong statistical evidence has emerged that people who suffered from COVID are at an increased risk for the development or advancement of cardiovascular disease.
The virus that causes COVID is SARS-CoV-2 and it is unlike viruses that cause influenza or the common cold. SARS-CoV-2 attacks and weakens endothelial cells and tissue that line the vessels and arteries in the heart, brain, and lungs. The inflammation resulting from this can be a cause for developing or advancing existing heart disease.
When COVID first struck, it seemed to be a pneumonia focused disease. But it was found that nearly 40% of deaths involved the heart. There has been a prevalence and impact of myocardial injury in hospitalized patients with COVID19 infections; and at least 1/3 of hospitalized COVID patients will have biomarker evidence of myocardial injury.
Normally, the endothelial surface of vessels and arteries inhibit clot formation (coagulation) and promotes fibrinoloysis (prevents blood clots from growing and becoming problematic). The inflammation and biological response in the body can cause endothelial surfaces to become damaged and allowing the formation of clots and other vascular disease. As Drs. Peter Libby and Thomas Luscher summarize in their European Society of Cardiology paper, “COVID19 is, in the end, an endothelia disease”.
COVID-19, Myocarditis and Cardiovascular Disease
According to University Hospitals, viruses are a common cause of heart inflammation – known as myocarditis – and the coronavirus is no different. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in September 2021 research showing patients with COVID-19 had nearly 16 times the risk of myocarditis compared with patients without COVID-19.
Myocarditis from COVID-19 vs. Vaccination
As reported by CNBC in April 2022, the risk of myocarditis is higher after Covid infection than Pfizer or Moderna vaccinations across all gender and age groups studied, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle. Though rare, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have been associated with an elevated risk of myocarditis. However, even among the highest risk group, teenage boys, the risk of cardiac conditions was higher after Covid-19 infection than vaccination.
It is important to determine if cardiovascular disease is present or advancing in people who have had COVID-19. It is more important than ever to schedule a HeartSavers Clinics appointment.
If anyone in your family has had COVID-19, it is important to encourage them to have their cardiovascular health checked and HeartSavers Clinics is one of the only ways to determine the endothelial health of your vascular system.
LONG COVID IS REAL
As reported by Johns Hopkins: People with long COVID, or “long-haulers,” are COVID-19 survivors but they have persistent symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, headaches, palpitations, and impairments in mental health and cognition.
HeartSavers Clinics testing is one way to help you understand your risks for cardiovascular disease and if present, the severity. Schedule your appointment today.