The vlogger suffered a heart attack while sleeping
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, was initially thought to primarily impact the lungs. Now we know there is barely a part of the body this infection spares. And emerging data show that some of the virus’s most potent damage is inflicted on the heart.
Youtube vlogger Lloyd Cadena was admitted to a hospital on Sept. 1 because of high fever and dry cough. He was tested for the coronavirus the same day, with the results coming out a couple of days later on Sept. 3. His family and BNT, a collective of content creators whom he mentored, began to self-isolate.
But instead of getting better, his condition deteriorated. On Sept. 4, his family said, “he was seen by the staff unresponsive and pale looking.” Lloyd had suffered a heart attack while sleeping.
So can you suffer a heart attack due to Covid-19?
Dr. Manish Hinduja, in an interview with Times Now India,said there is a speculative risk that the viral infection could cause rupture of fatty deposits (atherosclerotic plaques) in coronary arteries, leading to a heart attack.
“Coronavirus attacks the body by infecting cells directly. It can, however, cause your body to produce an overactive immune response, which can lead to increased inflammation throughout the body,” he said.
Severe inflammatory response, Hinduja said, can trigger heart rhythm problems like atrial fibrillation and acute inflammation of the heart (myocarditis), which can worsen its function directly.
An intriguing new study from Germany offers a glimpse into how the virus affects the heart. Researchers studied 100 individuals, with a median age of just 49, who had recovered from Covid-19. Most were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms.
An average of two months after they received the diagnosis, the researchers performed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of their hearts and made some alarming discoveries: Nearly 80 percent had persistent abnormalities—ranging from signs of inflammation to decreased ability of hearts to pump blood to the rest of the body—and 60 percent had evidence of myocarditis. The degree of myocarditis was not explained by the severity of the initial illness.
Although the study has some flaws, and the significance of its findings not fully known, it makes clear that in young patients who had seemingly overcome the virus, it’s fairly common for the heart to be affected.
And while there’s still much to be learned, we’re starting to understand that Covid-19 affects the heart in many ways. First, it can cause problems like myocarditis, and second, it can indirectly affect the heart by making existing heart conditions worse, as warned by experts. So everyone should continue to do everything they can do to protect themselves and others from the illness.