1 Nov 2023

Connection of heart attack with Covid and vaccine: What doctors say on Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya's warning

New Delhi: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has cautioned that individuals who have experienced severe COVID-19 should refrain from strenuous activities such as intense exercise, running, or heavy exertion. This advice comes in the wake of recent reports of people, including teenagers as young as 13 and 17 years old, succumbing to heart attacks during the Navratri festival in Gujarat. Videos of these incidents had gone viral, including the tragic demise of a 12th-grade student during the same period.

Minister Mansukh Mandaviya stated, "ICMR has recently conducted an extensive study on this matter. According to this study, individuals who have had severe COVID-19 should abstain from rigorous physical activities, intense workouts, running, or excessive exercise for at least one to two years to mitigate the risk of heart attacks."

Dr. Anna Dogra at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) added, "ICMR has submitted its study for peer review. The Ministry of Health will provide further information once the review is completed."

GB Pant Hospital in Delhi examined impact of COVID-19 on health

While the official ICMR report is pending, prior research at GB Pant Hospital in Delhi examined the impact of COVID-19 on the health. This study, conducted on 135 individuals between 2020 and 2021, found adverse effects on the heart. The subjects were closely monitored, and it was observed that the impact of COVID-19 on the heart gradually decreased over time.

A participating doctor explained, "Our research revealed that COVID-19 affects the heart, impacting the heart's electrical system, its pumping muscle, and the arteries responsible for blood circulation. People who have suffered severe COVID-19 were advised to refrain from excessive exercise or strenuous physical activity to prevent potential heart-related issues."

Increased risk of heart attacks in COVID-19 patients

The study also noted an increased risk of heart attacks in COVID-19 patients. However, the doctor emphasized that it doesn't imply that everyone who contracts COVID-19 will inevitably experience a heart attack. He pointed out that definitive conclusions will require comprehensive research and the disclosure of results.

Medical professionals have hailed the Union Health Minister's statement as balanced and accurate. They explained that excessive physical activity can place additional strain on the heart of individuals recovering from severe COVID-19, potentially causing an abnormally rapid heartbeat. They recommended that patients who have not fully recuperated from severe COVID-19 should gradually reintroduce exercise and avoid sudden, intense exertion.

Vaccines not significantly associated with an increased risk of heart attacks

Amid the pandemic, vaccination campaigns were launched, with some concerns later arising about heart attacks following the administration of vaccines like Covishield and Covaxin. However, the GB Pant Hospital study revealed that such cases were relatively rare among vaccine recipients. Doctors emphasized that the vaccines were not significantly associated with an increased risk of heart attacks.

Dr. OP Yadav, the director of the National Heart Institute, pointed out that cases of heart attacks among young individuals had been reported in the past, with bypass surgeries performed on some individuals below 40 years of age. He noted that while these cases were not a new phenomenon, they gained more attention following reports of heart attacks among celebrities, giving the impression of a rising trend in heart attacks among the youth.


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