Heart, lung problem on the rise in post-Covid-19 recovered patients:Expert
Kolkata/UNI: Many recovered Covid-19 patients are suffering from heart problems and lung diseases after beating the novel coronavirus infection.
'There is a speculative risk that the viral infection could cause rupture of the fatty deposits (atherosclerotic plaques) in coronary arteries leading to a heart attack, due to the inflammatory effects of the virus. The severe inflammatory response may also trigger arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation and acute inflammation of the heart (myocarditis) which can also worsen its function directly,' Dr Naresh Purohit, Visiting Professor at the Kolkata based West Bengal University of Health Sciences, School of Public Health, informed UNI today.
'During the last few months of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in cardiac arrest cases and patients with diabetes, blood pressure and heart disease health conditions are harmed majorly by the Corona virus,' the renowned physician observed.
As per recent scientific studies of the American Heart Association, Covid-19 may lead to cardiac arrest with symptoms like chest pain, breathlessness, dizziness, palpitations and fainting.
Dr Purohit cautioned that people with certain issues of blood pressure and diabetes are at a much greater risk than those with severe symptoms from the coronavirus. 'Aged patients with heart conditions are at higher risk of fatality.
This does not mean that patients with underlying heart disease cannot recover from the impact of the virus. There have been many cases in which such patients have recovered,' he opined.
Dr Purohit, Executive Member of the Indian Society of Hypertension, quoting his observational research report on 820 post-Covid patients aged 45 to 65 years in the last five months, said these cardiac problems could be owing to damage to the small vessels caused by Covid-19 that leads to excessive clotting during the course of the disease.
According to him some of the heart disease conditions which may pose a higher risk in Covid-19 patients include elderly patients with coronary artery disease, hypertension, or diabetes. 'Associated heart disease in pregnant women, heart failure, cardiomyopathy and patients with congenital cyanotic heart disease or obstructive form of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are also prone to higher risk when they are infected by the coronavirus,' the doctor explained.
'Immuno-suppressed patients with heart disease like post-transplant conditions have also been found to be at higher risk,' he said.
Dr Purohit pointed out in his report that recovered patients come back to hospitals with symptoms such as lethargy, body aches and itchy throats even four to six weeks later. Some people even get heart attacks or strokes after recovery.
'Now, the experts need to look out for neurological symptoms such as the Guillain-barre syndrome wherein the body’s immune system attacks the nerves, leading to weakness and tingling in the extremities,' Dr Purohit said.