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COVID-19 Changes the Heart: What You Need to Know

We know that COVID-19 affects the respiratory system, but what about the heart? New research shows that the virus can also affect the heart, potentially causing lasting effects. Dr. Andrew Marks and his colleagues conducted autopsy analyses of COVID-19 patients who had died from the disease and found abnormalities in the way heart cells regulate calcium. The heart tissue of these patients looked very similar to that of people with heart failure.

More research needs to be done to understand how the virus is affecting the heart, but there is evidence showing a link between COVID-19 infections and heart-related problems, such as irregular heartbeats, heart attacks, and stroke. It's also possible that the body's immune system is a major contributor to the heart-related effects of the virus.

While we wait for more definitive studies, it's important to control the risk factors that might put us at higher risk of heart disease, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. For those who have had COVID-19, it's also important to get heart disease risk factors checked. Dr. Marks has already developed a potential drug that can address leaking calcium if that proves to be a problem with COVID-19, and he's eager to test it if his animal studies justify the experiments.

We're still learning how COVID-19 affects our health, but this knowledge will help us better treat people who might be at higher risk of heart-related problems from COVID-19, potentially reducing hospitalizations and deaths from the disease.

(via: TIME)

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