Tuesday, May 17, 2022 | Shawwal 15, 1443 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Is cardiac arrest related to Covid -19?

Some deaths due to cardiac arrest, not limited to a particular group but in different age groups, are linked to the Covid-19, according to a health expert.


Dr. Zaid al Hinai, Consultant Physician of Paediatric Infectious Diseases at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, explained that there is an expected increase in heart disease and stroke after waves of Covid-19 infections, according to many studies. This possibility persists for months after the infection (even after mild cases). The vaccines, on the other hand, have been proven to reduce long-term symptoms and protect against complications, in addition to their known benefits of preventing severe infection and death from Covid-19.


Al Hinai elaborated that the vaccines used in the Sultanate of Oman have been monitored rigorously by multiple independent international bodies. “While it is true that myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) has been identified as a rare side effect of some of the vaccines, the frequency of this side effect is very rare, approximately 1 in 100,000. Further, this side effect is mainly reported in the first two weeks after the vaccine dose, and not after that, and recovery rates are excellent. Contrast this with the long-term cardiovascular complications of a Covid-19 infection, which have been estimated to occur in 45 out every 1,000 cases, up to 1 year after infection. Additionally, vaccines have been shown to prevent or decrease some of the long-term symptoms of Covid-19, including chest pain. As such, it is clear that an increase in cardiac events is expected with an increase in Covid-19 infection”.


He added, “the role of the vaccines is protection, and as such, it is quite unfair to blame them.”


However, the doctor said “currently, there are no comprehensive statistics in the Sultanate of Oman confirming an increase in the incidence of heart attacks, but the matter is noticed in the community and could be expected based on the recent Omicron wave of Covid-19 infection” while providing reassurance that despite this relative increase, it still remains true that most of those infected with Covid-19 recover without complications.


“It has been observed since the start of the pandemic that this virus has complications in the circulatory system and the heart in particular. This was observed in the first weeks of infection and subsequent studies from around the world found that up to 6 to 12 months after recovery there is still an increase in the incidence of heart attacks, as well as other symptoms, collectively known as long Covid. So, unfortunately, it is not surprising to hear about cardiac complications” he said.


He also mentioned that heart disease occurs more among people who have been infected with Covid-19 while having additional risk factors such as high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, or old age. But they also occur in young people or even athletes. He advises professional athletes to undergo routine heart exams to be safe. He advised people who have recovered from Covid-19 to seek professional advice if they experience any cardiac symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath with routine activities, or palpitations.


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