Corona infection and heart attack, can there be sudden death after years?

Gearmo López Luk, Professor and Researcher

There have been several incidents of death due to heart related disease in India in the last one year. Videos of people suddenly having heart attacks while sitting, dancing, exercising have come to the fore.

It is seen in the video that people suddenly collapse and die due to heart attack. Some people have also come to know about having heart related diseases in the past. Some of the recent cases are-

  • Heart attack to 46 year old Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar.

  • Heart attack to 41 year old TV actor Siddharth Shukla.

  • Heart attack of 59 year old comedian Raju Srivastava while exercising in the gym.

  • A 21-year-old boy fell on the stage while dancing in Jammu and Kashmir. He had a heart attack and died.

  • A 35-year-old man died of a heart attack while playing Garba in Mumbai.

  • Last week, a 33-year-old gym trainer fell unconscious while sitting. He died of a heart attack.

Although there is no evidence of any of these cases being linked to Kovid, but some people are seeing the heart attack as an effect of the corona epidemic.

At present, the cases of corona infection in India have reduced significantly, but doctors have been warning about its far-reaching effects in the past.

In such a situation, do you know what is the relation between corona infection and heart diseases? At the same time, how does the vaccine also affect.

In addition to common respiratory problems (from colds to pneumonia), it is also important to note that COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses can increase the risk of heart disease.

Information obtained after other epidemics suggests that these symptoms reduce life expectancy, which means that people can die prematurely.

what does spanish flu reveal

Scientific literature of the time reported rare cases of brain fog and persistent fatigue after the 1918 Spanish flu. Brain fog means a slowdown in the thinking process of a person. He finds it difficult to remember and concentrate. Both these symptoms have also been seen in Kovid-19.

However, apart from the general symptoms of the Spanish flu, it also had far-reaching effects. After this, cases of heart attack were seen continuously. Between 1940 and 1959, there was such a wave of heart attack cases that shook the whole world.

It was very strange to see so many cases of heart attack and it was difficult to explain. But, today we know that the flu pandemic was the cause. In a way, this virus left a time bomb in the cured people. He was not completely healthy even after recovering.

Men were particularly affected by these heart-related diseases as happened in the flu pandemic and COVID-19. The possible reason for this was given that in 1918, this problem has been seen later due to abnormal immune response in 20 to 40 year old men.

At the same time, it was revealed that being infected with the 1918 flu virus before birth could increase the risk of heart diseases after 60 years.

Later studies found that influenza virus infection increases the development of atherosclerotic plaques. These plaques get deposited in the blood vessels and the blood flow is obstructed. This can lead to a heart attack. At the same time, due to damage to the endothelium present in the blood vessels, plaques are also formed and the risk of heart attack increases.

Corona epidemic and heart diseases

Data gathered in the early months of the pandemic suggest that there has been an increase in heart-related problems after infection with the corona virus.

Due to this, diseases like heart failure, myocardial damage, arrhythmias and acute coronary syndrome have started increasing.

There are two possibilities behind heart disease due to corona and both are based on evidence:

  • When the body responds in an abnormal way to a virus, it can damage the heart.

  • Due to this, the blood vessels become thick, which reduces the space for blood flow in them and becomes obstructed. This is called vascular inflammation.

  • Therefore, in those who were already suffering from heart related diseases, this problem became more serious.

  • The corona virus enters the body using the ACE2 protein, which is abundantly present in endothelial cells. These cells are found in the blood vessels.

  • This protein is essential for heart function, normal blood pressure, electrolyte control, and nerve repair.

Abortion cases rise

As COVID-19 affects the endothelium, it can damage the placenta and lead to miscarriage. Even the damage to blood vessels in pregnant women due to COVID-19 is comparable to cases in which blood pressure imbalances lead to blood vessel damage and miscarriage.

In addition, other studies show that the virus causes damage to fetal organs in early pregnancy, which results in abnormal immune responses.

Vaccines and myocarditis? no proof

The effect of protein S on the endothelium is linked to possible damage to the blood vessels. The reason for this is said to be an mRNA-based vaccine. The mRNA in these vaccines makes protein S in these tissues so that the immune system recognizes it and activates it. However, this damage could not be shown.

Although there are attempts to warn the blood vessels of the harm associated with the vaccine, scientific data does not support this.

A recent publication in the medical journal JAMA shows that 192.5 million people in the US have been given the vaccine. Of these, 8.4 million people were found to have symptoms of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart’s veins) and 92 of these people needed special treatment. But no one died.

There is no reason to worry about it. In people who have mild symptoms of myocarditis a few days after being vaccinated, this may indicate a more aggressive inflammatory process. However, damage is not directly detected by protein S.

Even after vaccination, the level of protein S in the blood is very low and its effect on the endothelium wears off within a few days.

Vaccines to protect against damage to blood vessels

From the data available so far and examples from past epidemics, we can say that compared to other respiratory infections, COVID-19 increases the risk of heart disease and shortens life expectancy. Whether it is by increasing the damage done to the blood vessels before or by causing new damage. This can lead to death months and even years after infection.

However, the good thing is that the vaccination has proved to be effective against these effects and against COVID-19. The reason for this is that if the virus does not reach the blood, then how will it affect the heart.

This is another reason why we should not let ourselves get infected with corona virus without preparation. Vaccination saves lives, even after years.

This story originally appeared on BBC Mundo, the Spanish language website of the BBC.

Gearmo López is Professor of Developmental Biology and researcher at the Luc Andalusian Center. He is a researcher in Metabolism, Aging, Immune and Antioxidant Systems at Pablo de Olavide University in Seville. His article was published in The Conversation, the original version of which you can see here.

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