To clarify the consequences of a booster dosage of the vaccinations, health specialists stated that there is no definitive relationship between heart problems and the precaution doses of the COVID injections. With social media filled with inquiries about the consequences of booster doses on the human heart, doctors defended the immunizations.
According to Dr. Vivek Chaturvedi, Professor and HOD, Cardiology, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad, there have been isolated cases of heart-related difficulties in patients following immunisation, but there is no clear data to support this.
“This is a very thorny question because we do see heart attacks happening. Not just attacks, sometimes fluid around the heart, sometimes Arrhythmias of the heart after vaccination. But it is very difficult to confirm this because these were happening in the past also,” he said.
However, Dr Vivek said that COVID can have effects on the heart and the person getting infected with COVID may have a flared heart-related disease.
“Covid can affect the heart in many ways. The most common problem which has been found is that the people who have had heart disease in the past, their heart disease can get flared and aggravated. They can have heart attacks and heart failure and also Arrhythmia. Secondly, people who have not had heart disease but have diabetes, and blood pressure can have a heart attack, and many such cases have come which is precipitated by COVID. Thirdly, even if no heart attack is precipitated, when covid is severe, it is known to cause heart dysfunctions, heart blocks, and different types of rapid heart rate called Arrhythmias,” he said.
When asked about the increase in the deaths due to heart-related issues since the onset of the pandemic, he said, “Yes, this has been a big controversy because a lot of death was occurring at home during covid when it was at its peak because people were afraid to go out but, data that has been carefully analyzed from certain countries has shown that covid definitely had increased the risk for heart attacks.”
Dr Vinayak Agrawal, Director, Non-Invasive Cardiology, Fortis, Gurugram mentioned that the road to recovery of an individual after COVID may differ for different persons, and added that the person who needs to be hospitalised in the ICU with severe lung disease or other infections may need supervised recovery.
“Post COVID infection, the road to recovery or rehabilitation is quite individualistic. For someone, who required hospitalization or ICU care during COVID with significant lung or heart or multisystem involvement, there would obviously be a need for prolonged and supervised gradual recovery or rehab inputs,” he said.
“Since heart involvement may be seen in these mild or asymptomatic cases also, hence if you experience significant fatigue/ weakness, out of proportion breathlessness at rest or walking, chest discomfort on walking or dizziness, then a specialist consult should be sought and further investigations including blood tests like troponin levels, NT proBNP (biomarkers), ECG, 24-hour ECG (Holter), Echocardiogram or cardiac MRI may be done,” he added.
The expert advised the people undergoing recovery not to engage in moderate to strenuous exercises or gym initially for nearly six weeks.
“Go slow, and do not resume moderate to strenuous exercises or gym initially for 4 to 6 weeks post-COVID diagnosis. Patients returning to high-level sports or physically demanding occupations following confirmed heart involvement require a 3-6 months or longer period of complete rest. If you continue to experience symptoms after a few weeks, consult your doctor to rule out long covid syndrome,” he said.