KEY POINTS

  • The coronavirus can be fatal to people with underlying heart diseases
  • But per a new study, COVID-19 can lead to cardiac injuries even in those without underlying cardiovascular conditions
  • Compared to other viruses, COVID-19 might be linked to a higher risk of heart muscle damage

The coronaviruses are known to affect the cardiovascular system and those with underlying cardiovascular diseases can have fatal consequences including cardiac injuries. But, researchers now warn that the coronavirus infection might cause cardiac injuries even in those with no underlying cardiovascular conditions.

Medical experts were aware that viral illnesses such as COVID-19 can cause respiratory infections that can cause lung damage and fatality in severe cases. But, its effects on the cardiovascular system are not much understood.

"It is likely that even in the absence of previous heart disease; the heart muscle can be affected by coronavirus disease. Overall, injury to the heart muscle can happen in any patient with or without heart disease, but the risk is higher in those who already have heart disease," Science Daily quoted Mohammad Madjid, MD, MS, the study's lead author and an assistant professor of cardiology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.

The findings of their study are based on an overview of previous studies on coronaviruses, including the SARS and MERS, that infected human beings and several other types of research conducted on the novel coronavirus responsible for the current pandemic situation.

According to one study published in JAMA Cardiology, the researchers found a significant link between cardiac injuries and fatal outcomes among the coronavirus patients admitted at a hospital in Wuhan, China. Another study revealed that a 53-year-old woman in Italy who seemed healthy developed heart complications after being infected with COVID-18, despite the fact that she had no previous history of heart diseases.

Experts opined that more robust studies might be required to examine the potential risk between cardiac injuries and the novel coronavirus infection. However, they noted that COVID-19 might be associated with a higher risk of heart muscle damage compared to other viral infections.

“Severe Covid-19 infection appears more likely than some other viral infections to cause damage to the heart muscle (detected by measuring a protein called Troponin in the blood). This heart damage is likely to be due to multiple reasons, and can happen in anyone, including those without heart disease,” Yahoo News quoted Tim Chico, a professor of cardiovascular medicine and honorary consultant cardiologist at the University of Sheffield.

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