With Covid-19 infection, there has been a 25-30 percent rise in the frequency of heart attacks and heart failure. Cardiologists say they have seen a significant surge in cases of heart attack and heart failure in the post-Covid period. The incidence has gone up by more than one-fourth in the last year.
“After the pandemic, the incidence of heart attacks and heart failure has increased by 25-30 percent in people who got infected with Covid. Patients, who had to be hospitalised or put on a ventilator due to Covid-19, are now much more vulnerable to heart complications.” revealed an expert.
Resident Cardiologist at SVP Hospital Aman Patel said “Until more data with larger numbers of patients are available, it seems reasonable to consider all patients with a history of Cardiovascular Disease, hypertension, or diabetes at higher risk of covid related heart attacks. We consider this risk likely to be highest for patients with these risk factors, older age, known history of heart failure, or clinically significant valvular disease.”
“For now, there are no specific measures based on this risk stratification, but we advise all of our patients with these risk factors to be especially cautious regarding public health measures of social distancing, including with close family members, and strongly recommended vaccination for these patients. Furthermore, given the association with more severe disease and increased risk for acute myocardial injury, we advise early clinical evaluation for any suspect symptoms,” adds Patel.
According to doctors, there are two ways by which Covid-19 affects the heart. First is a direct infection of the heart muscle, due to which it gets weakened, leading to heart failure. The second is that after Covid-19, a mild form of the infection persists in the body for many months. The arteries remain inflamed, leading to the tendency of clotting inside the heart. This results in heart attack and other complications.
In recent months there have been cases of sudden heart attacks in people after doing vigorous exercise. In these cases, the heart muscle may still be inflamed due to long Covid, triggering a heart attack.