Biggest risk factors for COVID-related heart damage: age and obesity

The coronavirus doesn’t only damage your lungs, it has a big impact on your heart, too.

NCH doctors say up to 28% of its hospitalized COVID-19 patients have suffered cardiac injuries like blood clots, heart attacks, and fast and irregular heartbeats.

Those injuries are connected to worse COVID-19 outcomes like ICU admission and death.

The biggest risk factors for suffering COVID-related heart damage are age and obesity.
Doctors say people with pre-existing heart conditions should also take extra precautions.

“We know that an underlying heart condition is going to make you more susceptible to more severe complications,” Dr. David Axline, a cardiologist at NCH Heart Institute.
“You already have some more limited reserve for the heart to be insulted by something – so you just have to take that into account and protect that organ.”

If you do have pre-existing heart disease and you contract COVID-19, there is some good news. NCH says it has a 10% to 20% increased coronavirus survival rate compared to national standards. Doctors say that’s because the healthcare system learned from New York’s example as well as its use of convalescent plasma and steroids.

Reporter:Veronica Marshall
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