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COVID infection can escalate chances of developing heart problems, Louisville doctor says

Dr. McCants with Norton Health discusses the affects COVID can have on your heart and whether those symptoms can be long-term.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On Tuesday, Mayor Greg Fischer invited Dr. Kelly McCants with Norton Healthcare to speak on cardiovascular health and how COVID can affect it.

Dr. McCants is an advanced heart failure specialist with Norton Heart & Vascular Institute’s Advanced Heart Failure & Recovery Program and executive director of the Institute for Health Equity, a part of Norton Healthcare.

He said that you have a 10 to 20 times higher chance of developing heart problems if you get infected with COVID, and even though the risk of developing heart problems is small, the chances get higher if you are older, immunocompromised or unvaccinated.

Dr. McCants says some of the heart problems he has seen in COVID patients include:

  • Heart palpations and shortness of breath, almost to the point where it continues to linger beyond when someone recovers from COVID
  • Formation of blood clots, leading to small heart attacks. However, this happens in a lot of diseases besides COVID, such as pneumonia.
  • arrhythmia and atrial fibrillation
  • Damage to the heart muscles and can cause long-term weakness.

If you are vaccinated and contract COVID, your chances of developing a heart problem are 1 in 10,000 according to Dr. McCants. But if you are unvaccinated, your chances go up to 1 in 1,000.

The best thing you can to do prevent heart problems from COVID is to talk to your doctor and get tests done when you start noticing symptoms.

Some common symptoms of heart issues include shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and just feeling off and more tired than normal.

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