As the number of coronavirus cases spreads throughout the UK, a somewhat clearer picture is beginning to emerge in regards to potential symptoms. Many of these seem to be directly linked to cardiovascular effects. Angina pectoris is one of the symptoms of COVID-19 but what is it?
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The coronavirus now has everyone’s attention, health experts say.
Based on early reports, 40 percent of hospitalised COVID-19 patients had cardiovascular disease or cerebrovascular disease.
The common symptoms include shortness of breath, fever and a new persistent cough.
Another symptom has been described as angina pectoris but what does that mean?
The Mayo Clinic said: “Angina is a type of chest pain caused by a reduced blood flow to the heart.
“Angina is a symptom of coronary artery disease.
“Angina, also called angina pectoris, is often described as squeezing, pressure, heaviness, tightness or pain in your chest.
“Some people with angina symptoms say angina feels like a vise squeezing their chest or a heavy weight lying on their chest.”
How COVID-19 could affect the heart
In a study with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, COVID-19 linked to cardiac injury in patients with heart conditions was analysed.
The study noted: “Experts have known that viral illnesses such as COVID-19 can cause respiratory infections that may lead to lung damage and even death in severe cases.
“Less is known about the effects on the cardiovascular system.”
Dr Mohammed Madjid, the study’s lead author said: “It is likely that even in the absence of previous heart disease, the heart muscle can be affected by coronavirus disease.
“Overall, injury to heart muscle can happen in any patient with or without heart disease, but the risk is higher in those who already have heart disease.”
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According to the study authors, critical cases are those that reported respiratory failure, septic shock and/or multiple organ dysfunction or failure that resulted in death.
Dr Madjid added: “It is reasonable to expect that significant cardiovascular complications liked to COVID-19 will occur in severe symptomatic patients because of the high inflammatory response associated with this illness.”
The study authors found that research from previous coronavirus epidemics suggest that viral infections can cause acute coronary syndromes, arrhythmias, and the development of, or exacerbation of, heart failure.
What the experts say
Dr Junbo Ge from Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China said: “Despite early warnings that myocarditis might be one of the manifestation of COVID-19 infection, an electron microscope specimen received from a pathologist in Wuhan showed no signs of direct virus infiltration of the myocardium.
“We do see that a considerable proportion of patients with the coronavirus do have an elevation of troponin, indicating myocardial injury, but this does not necessarily mean myocarditis.
“The inflammation may cause multi organ damage, not only myocardial damage.”
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