China, Italy, the UK, and the US agree that it is mostly the heart collapses that kill many people infected with the coronavirus. Heart diseases, diabetes, and high blood pressure in patients’ medical history represent a higher risk to develop severe forms of COVID-19 than lung problems, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The heart represents a central health risk for all the patients that get infected with the killing virus, even for those without a previous affection, according to recent reports.
How can it be possible?
Even it is a disease caused by a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the coronavirus disease 2019 evolves just like previous swine flu did, by creating heart-related complications such as myocarditis.
Myocarditis is a significant inflammatory response of the heart’s cells that are affected by the virus. The heart’s muscle tissue called myocardium gets infected, so its ability to pump the blood gets severely impaired. The blood’s primary responsibility is the body’s supplies transport. When myocarditis happens, the organs don’t get a sufficient supply of oxygen, including lungs.
Lungs can’t oxygenate by themselves. They take the oxygen from the exterior through inspiration and pass it to the bloodstream. The bloodstream gives oxygen to the lungs’ tissue through a unique blood supply in the bronchial circulation. So, the lungs depend on the heart just like any organ in the body.
Coronavirus can cause heart disease
People already suffering from heart disease have altered cells’ receptors, and the virus uses that weakness to do even more damage to the cell. This combines with the fight that the immune system puts to generate antibodies. If the immune system isn’t young and strong enough to win the battle with the viral infection, this puts even more pressure on the heart.
Fulminant myocarditis is one of the most significant risks. The body’s natural signaling system causes it, and it’s called a cytokine storm. Cytokines are released by the immune system signaling the body to send the saviors T-helper cells to the place of the massacre. But this causes chaos. Depending on the viral load and the rest of the inflammations in the body, the heart simply collides. There is too much damage, and only so much it can do.
This can happen in a healthy organism, too. So, if the myocardium has previous damage and it is already difficult for it to do its regular job, imagine how difficult it becomes with pressure such as the coronavirus infection.