COVID-19 patients may experience cardiovascular complications
As they assessed data from people who received medical care for COVID-19, researchers recently started paying attention to the relationship between the disease and cardiovascular symptoms.
In April, the journal Radiology published several studies showing a link between COVID-19 deaths and the occurrence of blood clots that impair circulation, an issue that increases the risk of life threatening medical events.
Meanwhile, a review of available evidence indicates that COVID-19 is sometimes associated with serious cardiovascular outcomes, including heart failure and heart attacks, as well as blood clots.
The researchers assessed the evidence presented in 45 studies that mentioned COVID-19 and a potential link with cardiovascular effects.
In the existing research, the investigators found associations between COVID-19 and myocardial injury, heart attacks, acute heart failure, abnormal heartbeats, and venous thromboembolism — or blood clotting.
Dr. Brady and colleagues write that, based on the evidence, myocardial injury with an elevated level of troponin, a key protein, “may occur in 7–17% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and 22–31% of those admitted to the intensive care unit.”
Myocardial injury refers to heart problems associated with an abnormally high level of troponin, a protein involved in the regulation of heart muscle contractions.
In addition, the researchers say that people with COVID-19 may also face a risk of heart attacks and that heart failure may already be present in a significant number of people who enter the hospital with COVID-19.
Finally, the investigators note that, according to the evidence so far, people with COVID-19 have “an increased risk” of blood clots forming inside blood vessels, an important risk factor for strokes.