COVID-19: Is it Actually a Vascular Disease?

COVID-19: Is it Actually a Vascular Disease?

It is not a secret to anybody that COVID-19 is generally seen as a respiratory disease since it is associated mainly with the lungs and respiratory system as a whole, with shortness of breath and coughing being some of the most common symptoms of infection.

However, it’s good to know that this virus is capable of impacting the whole body, causing a significant number of complications.

That being said, among the most common ones for those who end up in the hospital are strokes, which is a vascular system condition!

So does that mean that COVID could be categorized as a cardiovascular disease instead?

While at this point in time, a lot remains uncertain when it comes to this virus, it appears that vascular systems are not actually directly caused by COVID but by inflammation!

In other words, while still a respiratory disease at its core, COVID-19 can still seriously affect the vascular system.

This conclusion comes after previous studies in 2020 and 2021 suggested that in spite of the fact that people with mild infection only experienced respiratory symptoms, COVID-19 was in fact a vascular disease first and foremost.

However, this theory has been mostly disproven by different studies published last year as well as earlier this year, establishing that the virus itself does not attack the vascular system at all.

Instead, they concluded that strokes and other vascular complications happen because of infected respiratory cells causing extreme inflammation in other parts of the body when the immune system is trying to attack them as they travel through.

In other words, the immune system can over-respond to infected cells or, if you have weak or damaged blood vessels already, clots can form!

All of this is important to know in order to determine the best treatment for those hospitalized with COVID complications.

At this point in time, people who have recovered from COVID have been observed for a year or two at most so what we know about how it all works might change.

Some long-term vascular complications can be:

–       arrhythmias.

–       strokes.

–       inflammatory heart diseases.

–       angina.

–       coronary artery disease.

–       deep vein thrombosis.

–       heart failure.

–       pulmonary embolism.

Katherine Baldwin

Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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