'A sicker nation': COVID is causing a rise in heart disease in the US, studies show (2023)

The death rate from heart disease, the leading cause of death in the US and the world since the 1950s, finally began to decline. They hit an all-time low in 2019, according to the federal government, down 11.65% since 2009.Centers for Disease Control(CDC).

Then theCOVID 19The pandemic has hit and erased a decade of progress, says Dr. Susan Cheng, a cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles,vertel Associated Press. Studies are only now beginning to get a real picture of how the highly contagious virus has affected the country's heart health.

"We see effects on the heart and vascular system that unfortunately outweigh effects on other organ systems," Cheng said.

Deaths from heart attacks have risen with every COVID outbreak, and Cheng's research found that deaths from heart attacks among people aged 25 to 44 increased by nearly 30% in the first two years of the pandemic .

“We are poised to emerge from this pandemic as an even sicker nation” due to heart problems associated with the virus, said Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly of the University of Washington. The consequences, he added, "are likely to reverberate for generations".

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What are Heart Diseases?

Heart disease, or cardiovascular disease, is the common name for several types of heart disease. The most common is coronary heart disease,According to the CDC, which affects blood flow to the heart and can lead to heart failureheart attacks.

What is the rate of heart disease in Florida?

According to the Florida Department of Healthheart disease is responsible for about two in 10 deaths in the state.

“In 2020, 5.2% of Florida adults suffered a heart attack, equivalent to approximately 902,642 individuals,” the website says.

How does COVID affect the heart?

COVID-19 is a viral infection that mainly affects the respiratory tract, but can also affect other parts of the body and cause temporary or long-term damage. Up to a year after contracting even a mild case of COVID-19, a person may be at increased risk for heart-related problems such as blood clots, irregular heartbeats and even heart attacks, the AP reported.

Below you will find Wendy Susan Post, M.D., M.S. e Nisha Aggarwal Gilotra, MD of Johns Hopkins Medicine, COVID can cause heart damage in several ways:

Lack of oxygen:The virus causes inflammation and fluid in the air sacs of the lungs, and this can prevent oxygen from reaching the bloodstream. This forces the heart to work harder, which can be dangerous for people with pre-existing heart conditions.

Myocarditis: The coronavirus can directly infect and damage the heart muscle and cause inflammation. The virus can also cause blood vessel inflammation, which can restrict blood flow to the heart and other sites.

Stresscardiomyopathie:Viral infections can stress the body and cause it to release a wave of chemicals called catecholamines that can numb the heart. This affects the heart's ability to pump blood effectively.

cytokine-storm: The human body has released proteins called cytokines to fight off invading viruses. In some people, so many cytokines are released that they overwhelm the body, causing inflammation, destroying healthy tissue, and damaging organs such as the kidneys, liver, and heart.

A type 1 heart attack rarely occurs during or after a COVID infection, Post said, but type 2 attacks are more common.

“This heart attack can be caused by increased stress on the heart, such as a fast heart rate, low blood oxygen or anemia,” she said, “because the heart muscle is not getting enough oxygen in the blood to do this. extra work. We've seen it in people with acute coronavirus disease, but it's less common in those who have survived the disease."

Has COVID increased the rate of heart disease?

Al-Aly analyzed medical records from a massive Veterans Administration database, the AP reported.

“People who survived COVID-19 early in the pandemic were more likely to have abnormal heartbeats, blood clots, chest pain and palpitations, even heart attacks and strokes, even heart attacks and strokes, up to a year later, compared to those who were not infected,” says Lauren Neergaard of the AP. . “This includes even middle-aged people with no prior signs of heart disease.

“Based on these findings, Al-Aly estimated that 4 in 100 people will require care for some heart-related symptom in the year following recovery from COVID-19,” said Neergaard.

Are people with pre-existing heart conditions more susceptible to COVID?

“Stroke survivors and people with heart conditions, including high blood pressure and congenital heart defects, may be at increased risk of complications if they become infected with the COVID-19 virus,”according to the American Heart Association.

While anyone can be at risk of contracting COVID-19, people withSome pre-existing medical conditions are at greater risk of serious complications or deathof the virus. For heart problems, this can include heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, and possibly high blood pressure (hypertension). Anyone with these conditions should take extra care.

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Do COVID vaccines affect the heart or cause heart attacks?

A common claim made by COVID skeptics and anti-vaccine commentators is that there is a link between COVID-19 vaccines and heart problems. There are claims thatFAA has changed the guidelinesto account for the possibility of sudden shutdown of vaccinated pilots, those COVID-19 vaccinescaused five times more myocarditisthan the virus itself and the FDArecognized a connectionbetween vaccines, heart attacks and sudden deaths. All this has been exposed.

However, there was a grain of truth in it. In 2022, theThe CDC said it was a small number of casesMyocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the outer layer of the heart) have been reported in male adolescents and young adults several days after vaccination with mRNA COVID-19 (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna). Usually after the second dose, the agency said, usually within a week, and most patients received careI quickly felt better.

In October 2022, Florida Surgeon General Joseph A. Ladapo then sparked controversyhe issued new directivesrecommending that men ages 18 to 39 avoid the vaccine because of a study on the dangers of heart disease. A task force composed of his own colleagues at the University of Florida reported that his Ladapo's research was flawed and that he committed "reporting bias" in choosing the results; focusing only on evidence that supports their point of view, ignoring conflicting evidence, and failing to adequately recognize the limitations of their own data set.”

Instead of,studies have shownthat COVID-19 leads to a much higher risk of heart attack and ischemic stroke, and that the percentage of heart problems associated with vaccination is extremely small in comparison.

In December, researchers at the Smidt Heart Institute in Cedars-Sinai found that a small percentage of vaccinated patients developedposturaal orthostatisch tachycardiesyndroom of POTS. They also found that people diagnosed with COVID were five times more likely to develop the same heart disease.

What are the symptoms of heart disease after COVID?

Shortness of breath, chest pain or palpitations after a COVID infection may be cause for concern, says Johns Hopkins' Dr. Post, but they can also be caused by other factors. COVID symptoms can also mimic the symptomssymptoms of a heart attack.

If you experience shortness of breath that gets worse when you lie down or exercise, accompanied by fatigue or ankle swelling, talk to your doctor. If you suddenly become short of breath, get blue lips or face, and experience an oxygen saturation level of less than 92%, call 911.

Chest pain that persists but is not severe, that increases in frequency and resolves within 15 minutes, or that occurs when you exercise but resolves when you rest, should be reported to your doctor. Call 911 if you experience severe chest pain, chest pain accompanied by nausea, shortness of breath or sweating, or sudden chest pain with shortness of breath that lasts more than five minutes.


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