Study Shows That Even Mild Covid Affects the Heart
One of the most perplexing aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the variability in patients’ symptoms. We know that patients with certain risk factors, including cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disorders, and obesity, are at particular risk of severe symptoms. However, it remains somewhat difficult to predict who will experience a mild case, sometimes even asymptomatic, and who will experience more significant symptoms when few or no risk factors are present.
Another fact we have gleaned from two years of a constant stream of COVID-19 data is that inflammation, also known as cardiomyopathy, affects a significant number of patients who experience COVID. Until now, the assumption was that heart problems may have been more severe for those with serious cases of COVID; new research has shown that even those with mild cases may experience heart problems.
Much like the other effects of COVID, we don’t yet know if these heart issues create any long-term or permanent problems. Of course, the heart is a very adaptable organ and can rebound from disease. However, only time will tell if COVID-related heart problems are here to stay.
Huntington Heart Center’s Take
Any trauma to the heart is problematic. We encourage our patients to mitigate these effects by vaccinating and getting the booster, especially if they fall into the high-risk category for complications. Those with an existing cardiovascular disorder should be paying particular attention to minimizing risk while also increasing their protection through vaccination.
With the proliferation of Omicron, we know that millions more Americans have been infected. As such, if you have any new or unusual heart symptoms, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our cardiologists. Of course, if you ever experience a medical emergency, do not delay dialing 911 or visiting your nearest emergency room.
The Bottom Line
We genuinely don’t know if Covid is here to stay, and similarly, we don’t yet know if it’s a factor in long-lasting or permanent heart disease. Importantly, reducing the risk factors by improving your overall health is key to fighting the pandemic and cardiovascular disease in general. It’s worth remembering that heart disease is the number one killer of American adults (before COVID too). It is also one of the most preventable diseases.
We look forward to helping you back to your best heart health. Please get in touch with us with any questions you may have.