Critical COVID-19: Bad news for heart health

Critical cases of COVID-19, warranting admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), could pose a danger to heart health.
The news comes on the heels of research which estimated that more than one in five people worldwide are at risk of developing a severe infection with coronavirus due to underlying conditions such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease. This translates to 1.7 billion people worldwide, amounting to 22 percent of the global population.
Researchers assessed 700 patients admitted to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, of whom eleven percent were admitted to the ICU. “Researchers say the results suggest that cardiac arrests and arrhythmias suffered by some patients with COVID-19 are likely triggered by a severe, systemic form of the disease and are…not the sole consequence of the viral infection,”
Researchers said “in order to best protect and treat patients who develop COVID-19, it’s critical for us to improve our understanding of how the disease affects various organs and pathways within our body—including our heart rhythm abnormalities. Our findings suggest that non-cardiac causes such as systemic infection, inflammation and illness are likely to contribute more to the occurrence of cardiac arrest and arrhythmias than damaged or infected heart cells due to the viral infection.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving public health crisis. With millions having been infected with the coronavirus globally, there is the need for deeper understanding of its lasting effects on patients, including in terms of heart health.