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Survey shows some don’t realize COVID-19 can harm heart

A Cleveland Clinic survey shows some Americans don’t realize the impact coronavirus can have on heart health. (Cleveland Clinic News Service)

COVID-19 has weighed heavy on our hearts for months. But, did you know the virus may actually harm your heart?

A Cleveland Clinic survey shows some Americans don’t realize the impact coronavirus can have on heart health.

“Many people know it affects the lungs but it can also affect the heart; the pumping function of the heart and clotting mechanisms of the blood,” said Samir Kapadia, MD, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at Cleveland Clinic. “All of this can put you at very high risk of having cardiovascular problems.”

According to the survey, one quarter of Americans mistakenly believe COVID-19 only affects the lungs, not the heart.

Dr. Kapadia said even people who have healthy hearts, can experience heart problems due to COVID-19 infection.

He added, those with heart disease are at particularly high risk for severe COVID-19 infection and complications, but the survey shows more than 60% are unaware.

And nearly 70% don’t realize hypertension increases risk for a severe case of coronavirus.

Stress can negatively affect your heart too. However, only about half of Americans are aware of the consequences.

“People who have fear, people who have anger, it has been shown that both of these can lead to blood clotting mechanisms and can cause heart attacks,” said Dr. Kapadia. “Stress of a serious nature, like with COVID, where you’re seriously ill, can have high adrenaline levels and that can create, sometimes, the heart-pumping function to go down.”

Dr. Kapadia said doctors’ offices and hospitals have implemented COVID-19 safety measures to keep patients safe. So, don’t delay care for concerning symptoms, or for check-ups to help manage chronic heart and medical conditions.