London, July 21 (IANS) Testing people for heart-related issues may help to identify patients hospitalised with Covid-19 who face an especially high risk of dying, suggests a study.
Although SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, primarily affects the respiratory tract, it also leads to cardiovascular complications including severe arrhythmias, acute coronary syndromes, myocarditis and pulmonary embolism.
A team of researchers from the University of Salerno in Italy, examined 1,401 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 who were admitted.
About 226 (16.1 per cent) underwent transthoracic echocardiography within 48 hours of admission. In-hospital death occurred in 68 patients (30.1 per cent).
Low left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), low tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion, and acute respiratory distress syndrome were independently associated with in-hospital mortality.
"Clinical and echocardiographic parameters of disease severity might help to determine which patients with Covid-19 are at higher risk for in-hospital mortality," said lead author Angelo Silverio, at the University of Salerno.
The research was published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation.
The study suggests that early LVEF may be very useful to identify patients with higher probability of fatal outcome as cardiovascular complications can negatively impact on outcomes of patients with Covid.
A growing body of research suggests that some people with hypertension, diabetes and heart disease may develop more severe symptoms and complications once infected with coronavirus.
New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) Doctors at the Max Hospitals in Saket and Vaishali have successfully treated a critically ill, underweight, pre-term baby suffering from a condition known as PDA or Patent Ductus Arteriosus using a device called Piccolo.Nishu, born pre-maturely in Western UP, developed respiratory problems after birth. He was also diagnosed with PDA -- a common condition detected in new-borns.PDA causes a duct or an opening in a child's heart to stay open which otherwise would have closed within 3-7 days of the birth. This causes a backflow of blood from the heart to the lungs causing major complications due to the blood pooling in the lungs. If left untreated, PDAs are known to cause severe infections and impairs normal function of the lungs.After a series of referrals from different NICU centres across UP, Nishu was brought to the Max Hospital on the 17th day after his birth. Besides severe respiratory distress and congestive heart failure, he also had partially treated sepsis with meningitis.After initial stabilisation, the baby was given optimal respiratory support and appropriate antibiotics. The doctors planned for a device closure of PDA for which his parents were counselled."Post closure, the baby could finally take oral feed by day three of the procedure. Subsequent care was completed over the next few days and in follow-up consultations, the child has been doing increasingly well," Ramalingam Kalyan, Director and HoD, Paediatrics, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Vaishali, said in a statement.The Piccolo device is already being used the world over to treat PDA in pre-term and new-born babies since it is approved by the US FDA. In India, this has only been used as a life-saving measure in south India, but now with the advent of this technology in north India, there is hope for such babies to lead a better, healthier life, with quicker healing."PDA cases were until now being treated with medicine-based management, waiting for the child to grow up and gain weight and reach the age of three to six months so that they could go ahead with surgical intervention. However, this could also be fatal since, as the child grew, the lungs would open to their maximum capacity and also soften up causing the blood flow to the lungs to increase more leading to major complications," said Neeraj Awasthy, Principal Consultant & Incharge, Paediatric Cardiology, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket."With the use of Piccolo, it is now possible to treat even a pre-term who weighs as low as 700 grams. The device is inserted through the leg vein and the procedure takes just a few minutes. While the preparation of this procedure at our end is longer, the good news is that the recovery starts soon after," Awasthy added.--IANSrvt/arm
New York, July 15 (IANS) Heart problems in children, who were hospitalised with multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) -- an inflammatory condition triggered by Covid -- lasted just a few months and resolved rapidly, suggests a study.MIS-C is a rare condition that causes widespread inflammation throughout the body. Many children with MIS-C were asymptomatic or had mild Covid symptoms at first but weeks later developed a variety of nonrespiratory symptoms including abdominal pain, skin rashes, heart abnormalities, and, in some cases, extremely low blood pressure.However, these were mostly gone within a few months, revealed the study by researchers at Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian."We've learned that Covid causes a spectrum of illness in children. Some are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic and a small number of kids who develop MIS-C become critically ill, requiring admission to the ICU," said Kanwal M. Farooqi, Assistant Professor of pediatrics at Columbia's Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons."It is a relief that this study shows that most of the severe heart and immunologic manifestations we saw in kids with MIS-C resolved rapidly," Farooqi added.The small study, published in the journal Pediatrics, analysed about 45 MIS-C patients. Nearly 80 per cent of the children had some type of cardiac dysfunction, and almost half had moderate to severe cardiac abnormalities, including decreased ability of the heart to pump properly, coronary artery dilation, and leaking heart valves.Two-thirds of the children also experienced a temporary decrease in the number of white blood cells during their hospital stay. The majority had an increase in inflammatory markers, and more than half also had elevated cardiac-specific markers indicating heart injury.Most of the patients responded rapidly to steroids and other treatments and were discharged by about five days. The immunologic abnormalities and markers for heart injury returned to normal within a few weeks and by four months, most of the heart abnormalities had resolved, including all of the coronary artery abnormalities, Farooqi said."Nevertheless, given the absence of long-term data, we are recommending that children who had more than mild dysfunction on cardiac ultrasound should get a cardiac MRI at six months and see a pediatrician before being cleared for competitive sports," he noted.--IANSrvt/in
Poor lifestyle and dietary choices are two of the primary causes of coronary heart disease. While Covid-19 has impacted healthcare delivery across all specialities, cardiologists and heart surgeons have been cautioning regarding the virus' impact on a person's heart health, with or without surgery.
According to Sanjeeb Roy, senior intervention cardiologist, Jaipur, cases of poor heart health are increasing rapidly in the country. If the patient sees symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, then the patient is at a risk of a cardiac arrest or heart attack, if there is a severe blockage in the arteries, it is treated by angioplasty or bypass surgery.
An angioplasty is an interventional procedure in which a stent is implanted in the patient without surgery. But sometimes even after having a stent implant, the patient may have to face some complications. According to one study, after implanting a normal metallic frame stent, there is a 15 to 30 per cent chance of it coming back. Apart from this, the patient has to take blood-thinning medicines for life, which also affects their quality of life.
However, to reduce all these complications, new technology like implanted stents will dissolve in the artery after two to three years. Biodegradable scaffold stent technology is very effective in reducing complications after angioplasty. This stent will dissolve in the artery two to three years after it is implanted and the patient's artery will return to its natural position, says the doctor.
"The biggest advantage of this to the patient is that there is no problem of affecting the functionality of the artery due to the placement of the stent. On the other hand, if there is a blockage back in his artery, then he can have angioplasty again. The biodegradable scaffold stent is a technology that does not use a metallic frame. This stent is made of polymers that will automatically dissolve in the body after two to three years of implantation."
"Advantages of biodegradable scaffold stents are: After the stent has dissolved, the patient will not need to take blood thinners for a long time; If there is a need to do angioplasty back in the same artery in the future, then there are no problems related to having stents already; Due to metallic stent implant, there will be no problems in tests like MRI, CT scan in this stent; The patient will feel psychological relief that there is no implant in his body," says Sanjeeb Roy, while mentioning a new technology.
Here's what to keep in mind for good heart health post angioplasty:
Avoid driving for a few weeks, and even riding in the car for long distances. As your body needs time to recuperate, make sure you're using pillows to prop yourself up and are supporting the delicate parts of your chest post-surgery.
Do not be in a rush to head back to an intense, high-stress life. Make sure your day has periods of activity interspersed with adequate periods of rest. Make sure you are working in an environment that can allow you to lie down if need be.
Shortness of breath may be experienced for a few days. Avoid exerting exercises and climbing stairs, and if this continues, speak to a family member and your doctor or surgeon.
It is likely that your doctor has recommended a change of diet for your post-surgery days. Make sure you follow it religiously and include greens and fruits as much as possible. This will aid recovery. Strictly avoid smoking and alcohol intake.
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Geneva, July 11 (IANS) The World Health Organisation (WHO) has found very rare cases of heart inflammation following vaccination with the mRNA Covid-19 vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna, but the benefits still outweigh the risks.The cases were mild, and found more often in young men after the second dose, said the global health body.WHO's Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) said that cases of myocarditis and pericarditis had been reported in the US and several other countries. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle, while pericarditis is an inflammation of the lining that surrounds the heart. "Very rare cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been observed following vaccination with the mRNA Covid-19 vaccines. These cases occurred more often in younger men and after the second dose of the vaccine, typically within a few days after vaccination. Current evidence suggests a likely causal association between myocarditis and the mRNA vaccines," the WHO said in a statement.The available data also suggest that the immediate cause of myocarditis and pericarditis following vaccination is generally mild and responds to rest, treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, etc. Nearly 40.6 cases of myocarditis per million second doses among males and 4.2 cases per million among females have been reported as of June 11, 2021 in people aged between 12 and 29 years who received the mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, according to the data in the US Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). For persons over 30 years of age, the reporting rates were 2.4 and 1.0 per million second doses, respectively, for males and females.The link was also confirmed by the European Medicines Agency, Europe's drug regulator. EMA's Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) confirmed "a plausible causal relationship between myocarditis and the mRNA vaccines" in Europe.Yet, "the benefits of mRNA Covid-19 vaccines continue to outweigh the risks of myocarditis and pericarditis even among young people, the WHO said. Symptoms indicative of myocarditis or pericarditis include new onset and persisting chest pain, shortness of breath, or palpitations following vaccination. The global health body advised clinicians to be aware of the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis with mRNA vaccines and people most likely to be affected -- adolescent or young males. It also asked vaccinated individuals to seek immediate medical attention if they develop any such conditions.--IANSrvt/dpb
New York, Supplementing testosterone significantly reduces heart attacks and strokes in men with unnaturally low levels of the hormone, a new study suggests.
The study, presented at the European Association of Urology Congress, indicated that the health of the men on testosterone therapy also improved by other measures.
They lost weight, had more lean muscle mass, their cholesterol level and liver function improved, their diabetes was better controlled and their blood pressure dropped.
"While men need testosterone for certain psychological and biological functions, only those with low levels who display other symptoms are likely to benefit from testosterone therapy.
"For those at high risk of heart attack and stroke, who are deficient in testosterone, it's likely that bringing the hormone back to normal levels helps them to maximise the benefits of other steps necessary to improve their overall health," the study said.
For the study, the team included over 800 men with testosterone deficiency, whose family history, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes or weight put them at high risk of heart attack or stroke.
Only men with testosterone levels below normal, who also displayed symptoms of low testosterone, such as low mood, decreased appetite, depression, erectile dysfunction, loss of libido or weight gain, were included in the research.
Just over half of the men opted for long-term testosterone replacement therapy, enabling the researchers to compare this group to those whose condition was left untreated.
All the men were encouraged to make lifestyle changes, in terms of diet, alcohol, smoking and exercise, to improve their cardiovascular health.
Of 412 men on testosterone therapy, 16 died and none suffered a heart attack or stroke, the study said.
Of the 393 men who chose not to take testosterone supplements, 74 died, 70 had a heart attack and 59 suffered a stroke.(IANS)