Heart Association: Coronavirus causing heart damage to many patients

Posted at 11:08 PM, Aug 14, 2020

The American Heart Association highlighted findings on Friday indicating the coronavirus may cause more heart damage than previously believed.

The AHA says that inflammation of the vascular system and injury to the heart occurs in 20 to 30 percent of all hospitalized coronavirus patients. The heart damage results in 40% of all coronavirus-related deaths, the American Heart Association said.

Studies have suggested that 8 to 12 percent of all coronavirus infections have caused heart damage. There is also concern that the resulting heart damage causes a greater risk for heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular-related illnesses even following recovery.

“Much remains to be learned about COVID-19 infection and the heart. Although we think of the lungs being the primary target, there are frequent biomarker elevations noted in infected patients that are usually associated with acute heart injury. Moreover, several devastating complications of COVID-19 are cardiac in nature and may result in lingering cardiac dysfunction beyond the course of the viral illness itself,” said Mitchell S. V. Elkind, president of the American Heart Association.

The American Heart Association is working with 150 US hospitals and 14,000 patients to better understand the virus’ impact on the heart.