A new study that was conducted to get to the bottom of whether the coronavirus causes heart issues where there are none, or whether individuals who already have heart problems are more prone to the virus, found that individuals with pre-existing heart issues appeared to have a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Zahra Raisi-Estabragh, the lead researcher of the study, explained that the team found that poorer heart function and structure was associated with an increased risk of getting the coronavirus. This, she said, was important because other studies had proposed that the coronavirus may lead to structural damage within the heart. However, as these studies only utilized scans from individuals after they had been infected with the virus, it is not known for certain whether the poor heart structures existed prior to the coronavirus infection.
Raisi-Estabragh, who is a Queen Mary University of London research training fellow, and her colleagues examined the medical records of 310 individuals in the United Kingdom Biobank database. The database is made up of genetic and health information of more than 500 million individuals, including links to coronavirus test results and detailed MRIs of their hearts.
The researchers discovered that individuals with pre-existent poorer heart function and unhealthy heart structures were more likely to be coronavirus positive than people with no heart problems. This remained unchanged even after the researchers accounted for previous heart attacks, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, diabetes, poverty, ethnicity, sex and age.
In a university news release, Raisi-Estabragh explained that researchers used imaging data that had been acquired before the coronavirus and demonstrated that the majority of these abnormalities were likely pre-existent and manifest in individuals predisposed to the coronavirus. This showed that heart problems did not occur as a result of the viral infection. Their study was reported in the “Aging Clinical and Experimental Research” journal.
Despite this evidence, however, two experts from the United States — Dr. Michael Goyfman and Dr. Aeshita Dwivedi — read the new study and asserted that it is still yet unclear which comes first: the coronavirus or heart problems.
Dwivedi, a cardiologist in New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital, stated that multiple studies had shown the harmful effects of the coronavirus on the heart, which included abnormal heart rhythms, heart failure and changes in heart structure. Goyfman, who directs clinical cardiology at New York City’s Long Island Jewish Forest Hills Hospital, noted that because of the design of the study which examined old data, the cause could not be implied or inferred, adding that other factors could explain the link.
Queen Mary University cardiology professor Steffen Petersen, who was the study’s supervisor, noted that further studies in different settings and populations were needed to conclusively answer these questions.
While the jury is still out regarding whether or not COVID-19 initiates heart problems, plenty of companies are hard at work seeking solutions to the global cancer burden. One of those companies, Predictive Oncology (NASDAQ: POAI), is seeking ways to make cancer treatment more personalized, so that patient outcomes can be greatly improved. For example, TumorGenesis, a subsidiary of the company, has technology to grow tumors in a laboratory so that its biomarkers can be identified easily.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Predictive Oncology (NASDAQ: POAI) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/POAI
BioMedWire (BMW) is a bio-med news and content distribution company that provides (1) access to a network of wire services via InvestorWire to reach all target markets, industries and demographics in the most effective manner possible, (2) article and editorial syndication to 5,000+ news outlets (3), enhanced press release services to ensure maximum impact, (4) social media distribution via the Investor Brand Network (IBN) to nearly 2 million followers, (5) a full array of corporate communications solutions, and (6) a total news coverage solution with BMW Prime. As a multifaceted organization with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, BMW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, BMW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. BMW is where news, content and information converge.
To receive SMS text alerts from BioMedWire, text “STOCKS” to 77948 (U.S. Mobile Phones Only)
For more information, please visit https://www.BioMedWire.com
BioMedWire is part of the InvestorBrandNetwork.