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Heart Attacks and COVID-19 Infection: Is There a Link Between the Two?

As the cases of COVID-19 patients suffering heart attacks during treatment come to the limelight, the link between the two has become an important topic of research for medical sciences.

Heart Attacks and COVID-19 Infection: Is There a Link Between the Two?

Sentinel Digital Desk

The nation was shocked after the news of the untimely demise of renowned television journalist Rohit Sardana, who succumbed to death after suffering a heart attack while undergoing treatment for the novel coronavirus, made headlines. The AajTak media personality, according to reports was steadily recovering from the deadly infectious disease however, on Friday he suffered a heart attack which proved to be fatal for the 41-year-old.

Similar to this, one of India's well-known sitarist maestro Pandit Debu Chaudhuri succumbed to death following a heart attack while undergoing treatment for COVID-19 on Saturday.

Many such incidents have been reported where a COVID-19 patient suddenly suffers a fatal heart. This makes people ponder whether there is a connection between COVID-19 infections and heart attacks.

According to Dr. Amrish Mithal, an endocrinologist and the Chairman and Head of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Max Healthcare Pan-Max, the connection between heart attacks and COVID-19 infections is a topic of ongoing research for medical sciences.

According to the latest research conducted by the Hackensack University Medical Center, heart attacks suffered by COVID-19 positive patients involve less extensive blockages of the blood vessels in the heart and less clotting of blood as compared to a heart attack suffered by patients without COVID-19.

According to the research, the novel coronavirus can cause damage to the heart muscle by disrupting the balance between the available supply of blood going to the heart and the need for the oxygen supplied by the blood. Read more

"Our findings suggest that the mechanisms responsible for COVID-associated heart attacks may involve less extensive coronary artery disease and less clotting in major blood vessels," said Dr. Turi. "This may be a result of the increased demand for oxygen to the heart despite relatively little in the way of blocked arteries and may suggest the potential for a different approach in managing heart attacks in COVID patients."

While the recovery rate for the novel coronavirus is high, the doctor warns the patients about the after-effects of the disease which could be life-long, including heart damage.

As per a recent study by the Oxford journal, nearly 50% of COVID-19 patients upon recovery have shown evidence of heart damage months after recovering from the disease.

Dr. Ravi Kumar, senior consultant and clinical lead, Heart Failure and Transplantation, MGM Healthcare says it is important for recovered COVID-19 patients to their heart checked post-recovery. He also advised the patients, even the ones with moderate symptoms to get an imaging test which shows to what extent the virus has caused lasting damages to the heart muscle. Dr. Ravi Kumar also stated that some people develop chronic heart muscle weakness, cardiac enlargement, and low heart ejection fraction after viral illnesses, a condition called 'dilated cardiomyopathy' which worsens after diseases like COVID-19. Read more

So far, there is no evidence if people with heart conditions are more likely to get a chest infection with COVID-19, but it is likely since they do get chest infections with other viruses like the flu.

Meanwhile, India on Friday for the first time recorded over 4 lakh cases of the novel coronavirus in a new record global high taking the total tally of caseload to 1.91 crores. 3,523 cases of COVID-19 induced fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours taking the total death toll in the country to 2.11 lakhs. The active COVID-19 cases in the country now amount to 32.63 lakh. India reported more than 3 lakh COVID-19 cases daily for the ninth day in a row, making it the second-worst COVID-19 affected country in the world after the United States. Read more

Also read- Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi Launches Helpline 'Hello Doctor' for COVID-19 Patients

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