Respected NYC Cardiologist, Dr. Steven Reisman, Explains the Relationship Between the COVID-19 Pandemic and Heart Disease

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Dr. Steven Reisman, a nationally recognized Manhattan cardiologist, and Director of the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center has proposed that there are 2 main pathways how Covid-19 can cause heart disease. One is the development of heart abnormalities in patients who actually get Covid-19 and the second pathway is the appearance of a ‘stress cardiomyopathy’ or heart muscle weakness seen in individuals who do not have Covid but have experienced significant mental stress and anxiety secondary either to the pandemic or to having loved ones very ill or dying from Covid.

Press - New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center

Press - New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center

Dr. Steven Reisman, MD, a nationally recognized cardiologist in NYC is the director of New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center. Dr. Reisman has authored numerous publications and presented original research at the American College of Cardiology & the American Heart Association.

Dr Reisman was recently interviewed on ‘ Inside Edition’ about Covid-19 and ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’. This condition also known as ‘Takotsubo cardiomyopathy’ was described several years ago in those with symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath mimicking a heart attack. This condition was found to occur in people experiencing acute emotional stress such as death of a loved one. It is different from a heart attack and usually only causes a transient disruption in the pumping function of the heart and can be diagnosed by office procedures such as an electrocardiogram (EKG) and an ultrasound of the heart or echocardiogram. Recently a study was reported showing an increase in the occurrence of this stress cardiomyopathy during the Covid-19 pandemic compared to previous years suggesting an increase in pandemic-related stress even in those not infected with Covid. It is possible that stress may be related to the psychological effects along with economic and social stress we are experiencing. Factors contributing to this may include fear of contracting the virus along with quarantine, physical distancing, and lack of social interactions.

A second pathway how Covid-19 causes heart disease is the direct effect on those who are infected with the virus. A recent study evaluated the findings on echocardiography in over 1200 Covid patients from 69 countries. In the entire group of patients , over one half or 55% had an abnormal echocardiogram suggesting abnormal heart function or structural abnormalities in the heart. Even in those with mild Covid disease 46% had an abnormal ultrasound scan of the heart. These results suggest that most of the abnormalities were not heart attacks but ‘non-specific’ patterns of heart muscle dysfunction easily detected on non-invasive echocardiography that can be performed in a doctor’s office.

About Dr Steven Reisman

Steven Reisman, MD is the founder and Director of the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center serving patients from around the world since 1987. Dr Reisman has authored numerous publications and presented original research at the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association focusing on diagnostic techniques to detect heart disease. NYC heart doctor, Dr Reisman , has been featured on FOX, CNN, CBS, Forbes, the Washington Post , the Huffington Post and many other publications and tv shows commenting on the latest techniques in diagnostic cardiology. The New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center emphasizes individual attention and ease of setting up appointments and consultations.


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