AUG 17, 2021 9:00 AM PDT

Heart Attack and Stroke Related to COVID19- The Importance of Prevention

The historic scientific breakthrough of vaccination has prevented lifelong disability from Polio, scarring from Measles, and millions of deaths each year. As these achievements grow in number, however, so have social challenges related to vaccine administration as a lack of trust surrounding the safety of vaccines persists among the public. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, this skepticism has been especially palpable. To add to this issue, extrapulmonary manifestations of COVID-19 such as cardiovascular disease continue to emerge. Many of these conditions can cause significant disability and death. As such, they have attracted considerable attention from the global scientific community and have produced a heightened sense of urgency regarding disease prevention efforts.

For cardiovascular complications such as heart attack and stroke, population-level data has been lacking. However, the Lancet recently published a robust level of evidence examining heart attack and stroke related to COVID-19 infection. Using a self-controlled case series (SCCS) and matched cohort study, the researchers evaluated the risk of these conditions. They found that the true risk increases between three and eight times for acute myocardial infarction and between three and seven times for ischemic stroke following COVID-19.

Since inflammation related to infection and other conditions is a known risk factor for heart attack and stroke, some increase in the incidence of these conditions may be expected in the short term with COVID-19. However, this risk appears to be greater with COVID-19 infection relative to other infections and is thought to be, in part, related to the unique ways in which COVID-19 impacts our physiology. It is now suggested that COVID-19 is an independent risk factor for heart attack and stroke even when other variables are accounted for.

Scientific investigation regarding the risk of extrapulmonary complications due to COVID-19 is ongoing, and the spread of the disease can at times outpace evidence-based guidelines. However, the accomplished history of disease prevention efforts such as vaccination programs has informed us much and these past lessons can be drawn upon to proactively reduce overall harm caused by this deadly virus.

 

Sources: World Health Organization, NPR, The Lancet, American College of Cardiology

About the Author
  • Dr. Christopher DiMaio is a Science Writer at Labroots. He received his MD from Penn State College of Medicine in 2014. His academic and professional interests include Neuroscience, Behavioral health, Immunology, and Healthcare improvement, among others. He is an active part of his community.
You May Also Like
OCT 03, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
A Tumor-Suppressor Gene Plays a Role in the Circadian Rhythm
OCT 03, 2021
A Tumor-Suppressor Gene Plays a Role in the Circadian Rhythm
Organisms follow the cycle of the day, even at the cellular level, creating an internal clock. Humans' biology will ...
OCT 03, 2021
Microbiology
Using a New Approach to Assess Aging & the Microbiome
OCT 03, 2021
Using a New Approach to Assess Aging & the Microbiome
Metagenomic tools enable scientists to easily sequence all of the DNA in any sample, like soil, or feces. The results ca ...
OCT 10, 2021
Plants & Animals
Temperature Perception Seems to be Different in Males & Females
OCT 10, 2021
Temperature Perception Seems to be Different in Males & Females
It's not unusual for people in workplaces and at home to have different temperature preferences. There may be biological ...
OCT 19, 2021
Immunology
Reverse Vaccinations Tame the Immune System to Help Hemophilia Patients
OCT 19, 2021
Reverse Vaccinations Tame the Immune System to Help Hemophilia Patients
In patients with hemophilia A—a hereditary disorder where the blood cannot clot properly—their immune system ...
OCT 15, 2021
Health & Medicine
Anti-seizure properties found in the Cannabinoid CBGA
OCT 15, 2021
Anti-seizure properties found in the Cannabinoid CBGA
A growing body of research suggests cannabis’s effectiveness in minimizing seizure activity, but a recent study hi ...
OCT 20, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
A New Approach in Glaucoma Treatment
OCT 20, 2021
A New Approach in Glaucoma Treatment
In the human eye, a space called the anterior chamber sits in between the cornea, which is a clear layer in the front of ...
Loading Comments...