Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday: Lasting Cardiac Effects of COVID-19

Dr. Benjamin Mathew of Cardiovascular Associates of Charlottesville
Dr. Benjamin Mathew of Cardiovascular Associates of Charlottesville
Updated: Aug. 23, 2020 at 9:06 PM EDT
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Cardiologists at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital are sharing that COVID-19 is leaving lasting cardiac effects on those who are faced with the virus.

“Both noninvasive, meaning imaging studies, and invasive, meaning studies they have been done on patients who have died of the COVID-19 infection, have been shown to have evidence of increased inflammation in patient’s hearts,” said Dr. Benjamin Mathew, with Cardiovascular Associates of Charlottesville.

Dr. Mathew says, from what we can tell as of now, the COVID-19 virus is due in part to blame for the long-term effects, even for people who recover from the virus.

“We’re seeing an increased incidence in worsening symptoms in those patients who have had the virus,” noted Dr. Mathew. “Some patients, some of who have been previously healthy without cardiac issues, have been complaining of cardiac issues.”

It also doesn’t seem to matter how old someone is. “Age is not a discriminator here,” noted Dr. Mathew.

Although there’s still research to be done, Dr. Mathew says wearing a mask, social distancing, and using good hand hygiene to work to prevent getting the virus is the best people can do to work to keep themselves safe.

He also urges people not to delay care if they think they are having a heart attack.

“We’ve seen a lot of patients delay their care because they thought the risk vs. benefit was to stay at home. Unfortunately what we’ve seen are more patients that should have come in, and now have had long-term effects from their heart attacks that likely would not have happened had they come and gotten prompt care,” said Dr. Mathew.

If you think you are having a cardiac event, please don’t wait to seek care. Instead, call 9-1-1 immediately.

If you have a question about your health, email