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COVID-19 May Cause Heart Injuries, Studies Suggest

Scientists found that patients who survived COVID-19 had heart abnormalities show up in their MRI scans.

As of writing, there are over 961,000 individuals worldwide who have died due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Philippines alone, almost 5,000 people have succumbed to the disease since February. Even some known personalities like 90’s band vocalist Joey Bautista, multi-awarded Broadway actor Nick Cordero, and YouTube vlogger Lloyd Cafe Cadena couldn’t escape the deadly virus which cost them their lives.

Lloyd was popular not just for his fun and entertaining videos, but also because of his genuine personality and big heart. (Read: 4 Times Lloyd Cafe Cadena Inspired Us to Be Kind and Selfless) In fact, just weeks before his death, Lloyd even gave out free tablets for students who need it for their online classes, and also bought his own family their dream house after years of saving up for it.

Unfortunately, Lloyd was admitted to the hospital on September 1 due to high fever and dry cough, which is why he also got tested for COVID-19. Results came two days after and he tested positive for the disease. But even before he got the treatment for the virus, Lloyd already passed away due to a heart attack while he was sleeping.

Since then, it has begged the question if COVID-19 can cause heart attacks.

COVID-19 and Heart Ailments

Up to 20 percent of patients with COVID-19 may have heart injury due to the new coronavirus. (Photo from Getty Images / Healthline)

Dr. Manish Hinduja, a cardiac surgeon based in India, says there is a “speculative risk” that COVID-19 can cause long-term injuries to the heart.

“Coronavirus attacks the body by infecting cells directly. It can, however, cause your body to produce an overactive immune response, which can lead to increased inflammation throughout the body,” Dr. Hinduja said in an interview with Times Now India. He adds that the body’s severe inflammatory response to foreign bodies such as a virus can cause the heart’s rhythm to change, therefore worsening its functions.

Moreover, a new study in Germany showed that patients who have long recovered from COVID-19 had heart abnormalities show up in their MRI scans. “Nearly 80 percent had persistent abnormalities—ranging from signs of inflammation to decreased ability of hearts to pump blood to the rest of the body—and 60 percent had evidence of myocarditis [inflammation of the heart],” the study stated.

The study was done on 100 individuals who tested positive for the disease (all were either asymptomatic or showed mild symptoms) and recovered. The MRIs were done two months after their initial COVID-19 diagnosis.

More studies need to be done with regards to this matter, but early studies show that COVID-19 does affect other organs in the body, not just the lungs.

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