Does influenza affect heart health?


Usually many people think that the flu is a very bad cold that keeps you out of service for a few days with fever, chills, muscle aches and maybe some respiratory symptoms, and for those who are otherwise healthy and relatively fortunate, that may be all they are suffering, but for those with illnesses Heart, flu can be fatal.

For those with heart failure, irregular heartbeat or coronary artery disease, influenza infection can exacerbate these underlying conditions, leading to hospitalization due to heart attacks, heart failure, and irregular heartbeat. Influenza infections do this by increasing stress on the heart, increasing heart rate and blood pressure, and increasing internal stress hormones called catecholamines.

According to “torrancememorial”; It is a great “stress test” on the heart, and for those who have little precaution, they may not be able to handle it. Additionally, influenza infection causes an inflammatory condition in the body, which can also lead to heart attacks by rupturing the plaques. This heart attack mechanism is related to inflammation.

And even in young, healthy patients without cardiovascular disease, influenza can be fatal. The virus can affect the heart muscle, leading to inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), which can lead to severe heart failure as the heart muscle becomes very weak and cannot pump on its own without the need for medication or mechanical support. Sometimes a heart transplant is required.

Since no viruses are isolated from autopsy samples, we believe that pathology is the body’s response to the virus and not the virus that attacks the heart muscle itself. Some patients can restore heart muscle function, but in some cases it can be fatal.

The same is true with pericarditis – this is inflammation of the lining of the heart which can lead to chest pain with deep breathing (because the lining of the heart is inflamed, when you breathe, it rubs against each other, causing pain). It can also cause fluid to accumulate in the sac surrounding the heart. Pericardial effusion without prompt treatment (fluid drainage) can result in death from cardiac tamponade.

In less severe cases, myocarditis or pericarditis can resemble a heart attack with chest pain, shortness of breath, and abnormal heart rhythms, which may require a long stay in the hospital to receive intravenous medications and monitoring.

One cardiologist and healthcare provider said: “I get the flu shot every year. I recommend that all of my patients get it too unless you find a good reason not to have it (and the fear of needles does not have to be a good reason), everyone should be vaccinated. Not that we will prevent every case of influenza, but it certainly reduces the chances of catching the flu greatly.


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