According to a recent UK study, half of the critical COVID-19 patients suffer from heart sequelae which can result in heart disease or failure. The conditions discovered range from inflammation of the heart muscle to death of part of its tissue.

Detailed in a press release from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), researchers from the University College London analysed 148 patients admitted to six of the capital’s hospitals with severe COVID.

The patients had blood taken for testing and underwent magnetic resonance imaging, and the results were compared with those from 40 people with less severe symptoms of the virus and healthy non-positive volunteers.

Approximately half of the severe patients had elevated levels of a protein called troponin, which caused damage to the heart.

Conditions included inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), scarring or death of heart tissue (infarction), restriction of blood supply to the heart (ischemia), or a combination of all three of the above.

Marianna Fontana, a cardiology expert at University College London and leader of the study explained that elevated levels of troponin are associated with the worst outcomes in patients with Covid

“Patients with severe disease from the virus often have pre-existing heart-related health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity,” she said

“However, during a severe Covid infection the heart can also be directly affected. Knowing what is going on can allow us to make more accurate diagnoses and target treatments more effectively.”

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