World Heart Day 29 September 2021: Beating Cardiovascular Disease in COVID-19 Times
The heart is one of our most important organs because it provides our cells with oxygen and nutrients and removes waste. Any signs of heart problems should be taken seriously because it is related to longevity and survival. It is important to eat correctly, exercise, stay away from smoking and alcohol, and avoid junk food to avoid heart disease.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels that include coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, rheumatic heart disease and other conditions. More than four out of five CVD deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes, and one third of these deaths occur prematurely in people under 70 years of age, according to World Health Organization (WHO).
The cardiovascular system is affected in diverse ways by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection (COVID-19). Myocardial injury can be detected in ~25% of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and is associated with an increased risk of mortality. Described mechanisms of myocardial injury in patients with COVID-19 include oxygen supply-demand imbalance, direct viral myocardial invasion, inflammation, coronary plaque rupture with acute myocardial infarction, microvascular thrombosis, and adrenergic stress.
Cardiac biomarkers are substances released into the blood when the heart is damaged or stressed. The measurement of these biomarkers is used to assist the diagnosis, observation and prognosis of heart disease:
- Cardiac injury biomarkers mainly increase in COVID-19 non-survivors. This highlights the need to effectively monitor heart health to prevent myocarditis in patients infected with COVID-19.
- Elevated cardiac biomarkers may be effective prognostic predictors for patients with COVID-19.
- Compared with non-critically ill patients, patients with severe COVID-19 infection have significantly higher H-FABP levels.
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- Li J W, Han T W, Woodward M, et al. The impact of 2019 novel coronavirus on heart injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis[J]. Progress in cardiovascular diseases, 2020, 63(4): 518-524.
- Yang J, Liao X, Yin W, et al. Elevated cardiac biomarkers may be effective prognostic predictors for patients with COVID-19: A multicenter, observational study[J]. The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 2021, 39: 34-41.
- Yin L, Mou H, Shao J, et al. Correlation between Heart fatty acid binding protein and severe COVID-19: A case-control study[J]. PloS one, 2020, 15(4): e0231687.