Does Covid-19 Attack your Heart?

Medical researchers are perplexed by data from Covid 19 patients. The data shows that cardiac arrest is the cause of death in 20% of cases.(1) This is not particularly significant because severe respiratory distress frequently can result in heart failure as the condition deteriorates. But there is some evidence that Covid-19 might be infecting the heart directly. In a study of 416 patients from Wuhan China, 19.7% had heart damage and those who previously had heart damage before Covid-19 had more heart damage.(2) What researchers haven’t determined is whether the damage is caused by inflammation, a natural response to virus or is Covid attacking the heart directly. In some cases patients were diagnosed as having a heart attack, only to find out that that the symptoms were related to Covid-19.

Data from China on 138 patients found that 7.2% developed acute cardiac injury, and patients who received intensive care were more 22.2% more likely to have cardiac injury. Compared to people without cardiac injury, patients with cardiac injury had much more severe illness from Covid-19.(2) Although this is early information, it is clear that people with heart issues are at higher risk.

In Canada, over 2.5 million adults have Heart Disease, and every hour 12 more Canadians are diagnosed. Although the death rate from heart disease has been decreasing it remains the second leading cause of death in the country.(3) Men are typically diagnosed between 55 and 64 years of age, while women typically develop heart disease between 65 and 74 years.

Since heart disease affects a large portion of the Canadian population, it is important this group remains vigilant in the face of Covid-19. Self-isolation is particularly important.

Key take-a-ways:

1. Continue to take your meds.
2. Self monitor your blood pressure.
3. Contact your doctor if you are not controlled.
4. Focus on healthy weight, diet, and exercise

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Stay healthy and stay safe.

Author: Mark Beaton, Sr. VP of Marketing, BIOS Medical


1. Heart Damage in Covid 19 Patients Puzzles Doctors. Scientific American, on-line. April 6, 2020
2. Association of Cardiac Injury with Mortality in Hospitalized Patients with Covid-19 in Wuhan, China, Shaoda Shi, Mu Quin, Bo Shen. Jama Cardiology published on-line Mar 25, 2020 doi: 1001/jamacardio.2020.0950
3. Heart Disease in Canada. Public Health Agency of Canada, May 2016

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