Are sudden heart attacks linked to COVID-19 infection? EXPLAINED

COVID and Heart attack
Image Source : FREEPIK COVID and Heart attack: Are they linked?

Health news:  Days after several people collapsed at Garba events during Navratri in Gujarat, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya asserted that those who had earlier suffered a severe bout of COVID-19 must not overexert themselves for a year or two to avoid heart attacks and cardiac arrests.

“The ICMR has conducted a detailed study. As per this study, those who have suffered from severe COVID-19 infection should not overexert themselves. They should stay away from hard workouts, running and strenuous exercises for a short time, say a year or two, so as to avoid heart attacks,” Mandaviya told reporters. For the unversed, 10 deaths in a day due to heart issues have been reported in Gujarat recently during ‘garba’ events that mark Navratri festivities.  

These deaths have left people worried about a possible link between COVID-19 and heart problems. A study by the National Institutes of Health also showed that COVID-19 could potentially damage the inner lining of our blood vessels and the immune cells called macrophages that are linked to them. 

How COVID-19 might affect our heart and blood vessels.

This study emphasizes the need to better understand the link between COVID and heart attacks. Findings by National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke by infecting artery wall tissue, including associated macrophages. This provokes inflammation in atherosclerotic plaques, which could lead to heart attack or stroke.

“These results shed light onto a possible connection between preexisting heart issues and Long COVID symptoms. It appears that the immune cells most involved in atherosclerosis may serve as a reservoir for the virus, giving it the opportunity to persist in the body over time”, said Dr. Chiara Giannarelli, who led the research at NIH. 

Echoing similar remarks, Dr. Michelle Olive of NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute said,”Since the early days of the pandemic, we have known that people who had COVID-19 have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease or stroke up to one year after infection,. We believe we have uncovered one of the reasons why.”


90% of Cardiac Emergency Patients Face Delays in Reaching Hospitals

Moreover, a study conducted by AIIMS revealed a concerning situation in India related to heart issues. It found that only 10% of people facing cardiac emergencies manage to reach a hospital within an hour. Many of them delayed going to the hospital because they were trying to figure out what was happening, and a significant portion (around 20-30%) faced challenges in arranging transportation or affording the necessary medical care.


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