Got A-fib? It Could Heighten COVID Risks
Why have so many COVID-19 patients had an a-fib episode? Ghazizadeh said that various factors can trigger the arrhythmia. It is known that a more severe COVID-19 can cause widespread inflammation throughout the body, he noted, so it is a likely trigger.
Likewise, there are a few reasons why COVID-19 patients who experience an episode of fibromyalgia have a worse outlook. On the one hand, Ghazizadeh said, a-fib could be the manifestation of a particularly serious infection.
But the arrhythmia itself can make damage to other organs even worse.
“When [a-fib] happens, the heart does not beat efficiently, “said Ghazizadeh. This means that the blood circulation is impaired, which can worsen the accumulation of fluid in other organs.
Ghazizadeh said it was important for hospital staff to closely monitor heart rhythms in COVID-19 patients with a history of fibromyalgia.
Dr Mitchell Elkind is president of the cardiac association and professor at Columbia University in New York. He said SARS-CoV-2 is clearly more than a respiratory infection.
“The coronavirus can infect not only the lungs, but also the heart, the linings of blood vessels and potentially other organs throughout the body,” Elkind said.
This is the bad news. A separate study to be presented at the meeting highlighted some reassuring news.
Looking at 17 studies, researchers found that people taking two common types of heart medication – ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor inhibitors (ARBs) – did not have an increased risk of positive tests. to COVID-19. And when they did get sick, they were no more at risk of dying than patients not taking the drugs.
ACE inhibitors and ARBs are prescribed for conditions such as high blood pressure, heart failure, and chronic kidney disease.
At the start of the pandemic, there was speculation that the drugs could make people vulnerable to COVID-19. This was based on animal research suggesting that the drugs stimulate ACE2 receptor activity on body cells. The coronavirus locks onto these receptors to enter cells.
Elkind said the new analysis confirms the safety of the drugs in a large group of patients. In fact, when researchers focused only on COVID-19 patients with high blood pressure, the use of ACE inhibitors and ARB was linked to a lower risk of death.
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