‘Heart attacks in 26 patients who recovered from COVID-19 in June’
A study by doctors from the State-run Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research last month has found that 26 patients who recovered from COVID-19 had suffered a heart attack seven to eight weeks post recovery.
The 26 patients, who were admitted at the institute between June 1 and June 30, have been documented in a post-COVID-19 heart attack registry launched by the institute.
“All of them survived with appropriate treatment. While six patients underwent angioplasty and three bypass surgeries, the rest were treated medically,” C.N. Manjunath, Institute Director told The Hindu on Thursday.
The single-centre observational study, Incidence and clinical profile of acute coronary syndromes (heart attacks) in recovered cases of COVID infection, was conducted by a team led by Rahul S. Patil, interventional cardiologist and head of Premature Heart Disease division at the institute and Dr. Manjunath. Pointing out that patients who recovered from COVID-19 are at an increased risk of heart attack, irrespective of the severity of the infection, Dr. Manjunath said of the 26, only 10 had been hospitalised when they suffered COVID-19, including two who were treated in ICU.
“The remaining 16 were asymptomatic. The time interval between COVID-19 and the heart attack was between 21 days and 108 days (average 51.5 days),” he said.
While nine of the 26 were women, two were aged under 30, six each between 31 and 40 and 41 and 50 years, seven between 51 and 60 years, and five above 60 years. As many as 10 (36%) had no risk factors, comorbidities, or history of cardiac issues.
While 18 were from Bengaluru Urban district, eight were from other districts, including five from rural areas. As many as 12 had diabetes and nine had hypertension, seven were smokers, six had cholesterol disorders, and four were previously diagnosed ischemic heart disease patients.
One had a family history of premature coronary artery disease. “Ten patients did not have any of the conventional cardiovascular risk factors,” Dr. Manjunath said. “The study indicates that COVID-19, both during acute infection as well as during post-recovery period, can cause blood clots. Depending on the site of blood clot formation, the clinical picture varies (such as heart attack, stroke and gangrene of the legs),” Dr. Manjunath explained.
“Another reason for blockage is hyper-inflammatory response in the arteries causing rupture of the fatty plaques. Even without a history of cardiac issues or comodbirties there is an increased risk of heart attack and it is better to take blood thinners for a period of six-eight weeks post recovery from COVID-19,” he said.