MOSCOW, April 21. /TASS/. Serious illness, caused by the novel coronavirus infection, might damage cardiac muscle, but the medics do not know yet how exactly it might affect the heart in the future, says Sergey Boitsov, the CEO of the National Cardiology Medical Research Center and the chief non-resident cardiologist of the Russian Healthcare Ministry.
"The coronavirus infection is tied to cardiovascular diseases, because people over 60-65 are most often seriously affected [by the coronavirus], and this group of people often has cardiovascular diseases. […] Patients that become seriously ill often have their heart damaged. And we do not know how this process will develop after the acute period: whether a fibrosis will develop, whether it will affect the heart’s pumping function and whether it will cause arrhythmia," Boitsov said in an interview, published online Tuesday.
In the meantime, Boitsov underscores that there is no definitive answer whether the coronavirus infection can itself cause development of cardiovascular diseases.
"The infection is new, and we have next to no experience in its treatment," he explained, adding that the medics face the issue of organizing correct treatment of patients with cardiovascular diseases.
"Some drugs and their combinations can cause heart rhythm disruption and other complications," he explained.
The expert recommended people with cardiovascular diseases who stay in self-isolation or in quarantine to move more and to reduce their calorie intake by 30%.
"I am certain that it is possible to allocate space for physical exercise, equivalent to 10,000 steps, even in the confined space of an apartment. Do gymnastics, find the exercise that fits you best," he said.
Boitsov also called on people with cardiovascular diseases to never cancel the therapy, prescribed by the doctor.
"If your situation demands a specialist’s advice, contact your clinic immediately, before complications arise," he concluded.
To date, a total of 52,763 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 3,873 patients having recovered from the virus. Russia’s latest data indicates 456 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.