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Covid link in cardiac deaths among youths, Health News, ET HealthWorld

NEW DELHI: There has been an unusual increase in the rate of sudden cardiac death (scd) in apparently healthy individuals with a history of Covid, doctors say. Some hospitals have witnessed an increase of 10 to 15% and the trend is in sync with a recent US research which documented higher rates of mortality and higher risk of cardiac arrests, strokes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in people exposed to the coronavirus.

Director of cardiac department at Max Hospital, Saket, Dr Balbir Singh, confirmed the increase in such deaths, adding that the recent deaths include people in their twenties. He, however, said that a more detailed study was required in the matter. The number of such deaths in people aged less than 50 years was 15% during the pre-Covid time but later shot up to 24%, added Dr Singh.

According to AIIMS professor Rakesh YadavThere is no quantifiable data but anecdotal evidence suggests at least a 10-15% increase in such cases. Those who were infected with Covid should not ignore symptoms like breathlessness, regardless of their age or fitness, and should immediately consult a doctor, he suggested, adding everyone should get periodic health check-ups.

Senior Consultant, cardiology & interventional cardiology, Narayana Hospital, Dr Sanjay Kumar Chugh said the increase in deaths due to cardiac arrests among young adults was due to an electrical rhythm-related abnormality such as ventricular fibrillation or asystole. “In both cases, the heart stops beating effectively and suddenly leads to death unless prompt resuscitation is done,” he said, adding many young doctors have suffered SCD.

According to the study — ‘One-Year Adverse Outcomes Among US Adults With Post–Covid Condition vs Those Without Covid-19 in a Large Commercial Insurance Database’ — published in the Journal of American Medical Association, there was increased mortality of 2.8% v /s 1.2% implying excess deaths, (excess death rate of 16.4 per 1,000 individuals).

Dr GC Khilnani from the PSRI Institute of Pulmonary, said: “Long Covid is a well-recognised entity and consists of fatigue, cough, pain (joint, throat, chest), loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, brain-fog depression, panic attacks and others.”

The middle-aged and elderly with a history of Covid should watch for hypertension, obesity and cholesterol, he said. They also should not indulge in unusually heavy exercise as several sudden deaths have been reported with such endeavours, he added.

Dr Navneet Sood, pulmonologist at Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Delhi said some studies found that numerous cases of Covid-19 have increased clotting by inflammation. “In Covid-19 patients, these blood clots can be in the small vessels inside the lungs and heart as well as in the bigger pulmonary highways and large modes in the legs. The clots can lead to the lungs, which can impair blood flow and reduce the capacity of the lungs. Some major clotting events may lead to long-term pulmonary complications, which can be fatal in some cases,” he said.

Director and head of cardiology, Fortis Vasantkunj, Dr Tapan Ghose said, “Young and middle-aged active individuals are the victims. Known coronary risk factors are either absent or are undetected in these cases.

As per doctors, a family history of cardiac illness was “often” found absent in people who had sudden cardiac death and 50% were non-smokers.

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