Time February 15/22 2021 pp18 |The Brief Health|Frontiers of Medicine| “COVID-19 may lead to a heart-disease surge” By Jeffrey Kluger
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Summary of Article
Another after-effect of the COVID-19 pandemic may be an onslaught of “cardiovascular death and disease” stemming from a range of consequences from direct effects of COVID-19 on the heart to being cooped up. It has been reported that COVID-19 can “on occasion infect and damage heart tissue directly” causing inflammation of the heart muscle of those that recovered from COVID-19. Even though COVID-19 has been found in heart tissue of patients that died from COVID-19 for the most case “heart failure is not the proximate cause [of death].”
For the indirect impact “It’s not just eating, drinking and sitting still that can be killers…also emotional stress caused by economic hardship, and depression as the isolation of quarantining drags on.” Worse as hospitals and clinics were considered “viral hot zones” people avoided routine check-ups for chronic disease but also avoided seeking acute care. “We know people have delayed getting care for heart attacks and strokes…” commented Salim Virani (AHA Statistic Update Author). Dr. Mitch Elkind (AHA President and Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology at Columbia University) “estimates as many as 500,000 additional U.S. Deaths in the past year due to people not getting prompt medical help for severe or emergency medical conditions, many of which were cardiovascular in nature.” Good news is that with some effort we can reverse some of these indirect risk factors by returning to healthier lifestyles.
Image from mayoclinicproceedings.org