How Vulnerable are Heart Patients to Covid-19?

How Vulnerable are Heart Patients to Covid-19?

by Dr. Bikash Majumder

Posted on 16th May, 2023 at 6:27:38 AM

One of the buzzing issues, which have pushed the entire world to the brim of a pandemic threat, is Covid-19 or Corona Virus.
As per the recent cases worldwide, there have been an actual number of deaths & viral attacks noticed, while the number is increasing every passing day.

Needless to mention that, patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases are always concerned about the infection and its implication on their health, mainly when it’s known that the outcome is more unsatisfactory in patients with cardiovascular illness.

Therefore, a heart patient and Covid-19 interrelationship always brings in a cause of concern at any point in time.

This article will discuss the interrelationship between heart patients and Covid-19 and look forward to some vital enlightening points. So, stay safe and keep in touch with a heart specialist doctor to minimize complications during this challenging period.

What is Covid-19 (Corona Virus)?

Covid-19 is a disease caused by a genetically modified form of coronavirus. The emergence of this newly mutated virus took place in December 2019 and became a pandemic in no time.

Researches and live cases reveal that people already suffering from health complications are more prone to get affected by Covid-19. And needless to say, cardiovascular disease is one of the major causes which makes you susceptible to it.

The key symptoms of Covid-19 include:

  • Severe cough
  • Consistent & prolonged fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Infection or congestion in the respiratory tract
  • Muscular cramps & aches
  • Severe sore throat
  • An unexpected loss of olfactory sensations
  • Sheer lack of taste sensations
  • Acute diarrhoea
  • Consistent headache

In several laboratory tests, it has been discovered that Covid-19 can spread from sputum or droplets when it comes in contact with another person. Acts like coughing, sneezing, kissing, and others can be significant cause of spreading Covid-19. Severe cases can lead to adverse consequences, including death.

What makes a Cardiac Patient at a High Risk of Covid-19 Infection?

The relationship between a heart patient and Covid-19 is entirely intrinsic in terms of getting infected. If you are suffering from a cardiovascular problem, then the risk of getting infected with covid-19 indeed increases to a great extent.

  • The cardiac patient was carrying associated medical complications with the lungs and kidneys.
  • The patient was having angina & using GTN frequently.
  • Patient with a record of hospital admission for cardiac failure within a year.
  • A patient suffering from heart valve disease& its associated symptoms.
  • A patient who has undergone open-heart surgery within the last three months and is in the recovery stage.
  • He faced Cardiomyopathy and experienced breathlessness and problems regarding heart function.

The relationship between a heart patient and Covid-19 finds a vivid relevance in this context.

What are the Possible Consequences of Covid-19 on the Heart?

Basically, Covid-19 symptoms are dominated by respiratory problems. But in some instances, it is also found to create severe cardiovascular damage.
People with a severe form of cardiac disease bear a tendency to develop Myocarditis due to Covid-19 infection. Myocarditis refers to an inflammation of the heart muscle.

Talking about heart patients and Covid-19, the chances of getting a heart involvement due to infection can be summed up in the following points:

  • Type 2 Myocardial Infarction- Because of increased oxygen demand, heart muscle suffers from a relative lack of oxygen, and the condition mimics an actual heart attack. Biomarker like troponin I increases in blood indicating heart muscle damage.
  • Actual Type 1 Myocardial Infarction (heart attack)- Happens due to the rupture of coronary plaque-causing clot formation inside the heart artery, which cuts blood flow through the route.
  • The covid-19 infection creates a severe inflammation of the heart muscle, termed Myocarditis and sometimes mimic like a heart attack.
  • Cytokine storm (release of inflammatory chemicals) can depress the heart muscle (myocardium) and reduces its contractility.
  • Infection can make the heart prone to abnormal life-threatening rhythm problems (ventricular tachycardia) and eventually cause cardiac arrest.

Apart from all these factors, the effect of the Corona Virus in the blood can create clots as well. Doctors are still researching it and figuring out more details about the vulnerability between heart patients and Covid-19 and its long-term effects.

What If, If a Heart Patient is Detected with Covid-19 Symptoms?

Being a cardiac patient, one’s susceptibility toward Covid-19 infection increases to a great extent. While discussing our heart patients and Covid-19, this indeed deserves pivotal importance to discuss the things to do if detected with symptoms.

You need to remember that Covid-19 is currently a significant threat to the entire world. So even if you are facing the slightest trace of the symptoms (as discussed earlier, you must cooperate with a cardiologist and follow the guidelines below –

  • Reach out to the nearby health camp or fever clinic.
  • Conduct a throat and nasopharyngeal swab test.
  • Never indulge in self-medication.
  • If detected positive, immediately seek medical advice.
  • Allow your family members to stay in a quarantined zone.

Always remember that if the treatment is started right from the beginning, chances are really high to get cured. So never delay the process, and follow the guidelines as mentioned.

The Common Symptoms of Covid-19 & Cardiac Disease

When discussing heart patients and Covid-19, Corona Virus infection and cardiovascular disease may be common symptoms.
So, it is always advised, if you are diagnosed with any of the symptoms, always reach out to your nearby healthcare unit. The noted symptoms include:

  • Chest pain with infection.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Consistent dizziness &lethargy

Most cardiac involvements can be diagnosed with a blood troponin test, NT ProBnP, ECG, and an Echocardiography.
So, being a heart patient, if you are detected with the above symptoms, it is advised to do the needful at the earliest.

Asymptomatic Infection of Covid-19: Some Relevant Questions

1) Can I get affected by Covid-19 without any symptoms?

A: Unfortunately, chances are there. If you have met anybody to know that the person is diagnosed positive, then the chances are really high. Whenever you know about this, it is always advised to self-quarantine yourself for at least 14 days. In case you notice even the slightest of health issues, reach out to the nearby health center as soon as possible.

2)How susceptible are cardiac patients to asymptomatic infection of Covid-19?

A: The risk of getting an infection is high, particularly in patients suffering from heart failure, recent bypass surgery, and cardiac transplant operations.
And that is the sole reason, it is advised for cardiac patients to stay away from public meetings and interactions as much as possible. Also, the needful measures as discussed earlier should be followed strictly.

The Bottom Line

The discussion proceeded till now, rendered you a clear idea about the interrelationship between a heart patient and Covid-19. A cardiac patient indeed remains at risk of getting infected by Covid-19.

Hopefully, the article helped you to get a comprehensive idea about what to do and how to fight Covid-19 tactfully for a cardiac patient. Feel free to share the word and help others to get the needful tips. Please follow the basic lifestyle solution to keep your heart healthy and keep out of the reach of other complexities.

Stay healthy, stay safe.
Wish You Good Health.

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