Moderna booster shot appears effective against variants; undetected early heart damage raises risk of death f

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cleveland.com 10 May, 2021 - 09:42am 83 views

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Moderna has said its booster shot shows a promising immune response to COVID-19 variants from Brazil and South Africa, while undetected early heart damage significantly increases the risk of death for hospitalized coronavirus patients.

Cleveland.com is rounding up some of the most notable coronavirus news making headlines online. Here’s what you need to know for Monday, May 10.

Moderna’s booster shot for its COVID-19 vaccine appears to be effective at preventing infections caused by coronavirus variants discovered in Brazil and South Africa, according to NBC News.

Phase II clinical trial data showed a booster shot designed to counter the variant discovered in South Africa increased antibody levels. The booster shot is a third dose of the vaccine given six to eight months after the second dose.

Moderna also said that a third dose of the vaccine that has not been updated to counter the variants will nevertheless provide more immunity, including against the variant discovered in Brazil.

The findings are preliminary and have not been peer-reviewed.

Pfizer has also announced that it is studying a booster shot to protect against variants.

Hospitalized coronavirus patients with an early, often undetected sign of heart failure were five times more likely to die than hospitalized COVID-19 patients who did not have the condition, according to a study by the American Heart Association.

The study, published in the journal Hypertension, says first-phase ejection fraction is a strong indicator of whether someone hospitalized with COVID-19 will survive.

“Traditionally, heart function is measured by ejection fraction, or how much blood the left ventricle pumps out with each contraction of the heart,” study author Phil Chowienczyk, a professor of cardiovascular clinical pharmacology at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, said in a news release. “First-phase ejection fraction is a new measure of the heart’s function that seems to be much more sensitive of early, undetected damage to the heart than traditional ejection fraction measures.”

The researchers evaluated echocardiograms from 129 patients from Wuhan, China, and 251 patients in London. Those with impaired first-phase ejection fractions were nearly five times more likely to die than those with normal results, the study says

Data suggests the heart damage may have been the result of pre-existing conditions rather than COVID-19, the study says.

Someone who has received a solid organ transplant is still vulnerable to a coronavirus infection even after receiving two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, Johns Hopkins University researchers found.

Vaccination did provide some protection, but solid organ transplant recipients will still need to take precautions like wearing a face mask and social distancing, the researchers said in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study evaluated the immune response in 658 recipients of solid organ transplants, such as heart, lungs or kidneys. Those people often take drugs that suppress their immune systems, to prevent their body from rejecting the organ.

The researchers found that 54% of transplant recipients had detectable antibodies after being fully vaccinated. But their antibody levels were still well below those found in someone with a healthy immune system.

One-third of patients discharged from a hospital after a severe coronavirus infection showed evidence of an effect on their lungs one year later, according to a study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

Researchers from the University of Southampton in the U.K. studied 83 patients discharged from hospitals after a severe infection. They found most made a full recovery after one year, although 5% still experienced breathlessness.

One-third of patients showed reduced lung function, particularly how efficiently oxygen was transferred in the lungs into the blood, the study says. Reduced lung function was more common in women than in men.

The researchers note that the study was small, so additional studies will be needed to confirm the findings.

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Patients with undetected heart failure have 5X greater COVID-19 death risk, study finds

Becker's Hospital Review 10 May, 2021 - 04:13pm

Patients with early undetected heart failure who are hospitalized with COVID-19 are nearly five times more likely to die compared to patients with healthier heart measures, according to a study published May 10 in the American Heart Association's Hypertension journal.

To conduct the study, researchers evaluated first-phase ejection fraction, a new measure of the heart that is thought to be more sensitive to early, undetected heart damage than traditional measures. It's a measure of the left ventricular ejection fraction until the time of maximum ventricular contraction. 

The study involved 129 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, China, and 251 patients in South London who were treated between February and May 2020. Upon hospital admission, each patient had echocardiography. Researchers compared the echocardiography results to patients with similar health profiles who had the same test done before the pandemic. 

While there is no official "normal" value for first-phase ejection fraction, researchers considered any value below 25 percent as "impaired," based on previous research. The death risk among patients with a first-phase ejection fraction less than 25 percent was nearly five times higher than those with a value of 25 percent or above, findings showed.

Researchers found a comparable amount of patients with similar risk factors who did not have COVID-19 that also had low measurements, indicating the heart damage is the result of an existing chronic condition and not a COVID-19 infection. 

Undetected Signs of Early Heart Damage May Increase Death Risk Among COVID-19 Patients: Study | The Weather Channel - Articles from The Weather Channel | weather.com

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The new study has highlighted that COVID-19 patients with a first-phase ejection fraction of less than 25% had a nearly five-fold higher risk of death than those with an ejection fraction of 25% or higher.

The team also found that a similar proportion of people with the same risk factors who did not have COVID-19 had low values of first-phase ejection fraction. Therefore, this suggests that the damage to the heart may be caused due to chronic pre-existing conditions and was not the result of the COVID-19 infection.

"Traditionally, heart function is measured by ejection fraction, or how much blood the left ventricle pumps out with each contraction of the heart," said Phil Chowienczyk, Professor of cardiovascular clinical pharmacology at St Thomas' Hospital, in London.

"First-phase ejection fraction is a new measure of the heart's function that seems to be much more sensitive of early, undetected damage to the heart than traditional ejection fraction measures," he added. The findings are published in the journal Hypertension.

Cardiovascular risk factors and/or disease have been recognised as COVID-19 risk factors that have a high negative impact on patient outcomes, since early in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Researchers hypothesised that predisposition to heart failure would be associated with more severe cases among hospitalised patients.

The team analysed mortality rates for 129 hospitalised COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, China, and 251 patients in South London, treated between February and May 2020.

"The findings suggest that if we can prevent the very early chronic damage to the heart detected using first-phase ejection fraction imaging, then people will be much more likely to survive respiratory infections like COVID-19. Healthy lifestyle choices, better treatments and adherence to treatments for high blood pressure and high cholesterol are also important," Chowienczyk noted.

Hospitalized COVID-19 patients with impaired first-phase ejection fraction have higher death risk

News-Medical.Net 10 May, 2021 - 04:13pm

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Hospitalized COVID-19 patients with impaired first-phase ejection fraction were nearly 5 times more likely to die compared to patients with healthier measures of this early, often undetected sign of heart failure, according to new research published today in Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal. First-phase ejection fraction is a measure of the left ventricular ejection fraction until the time of maximal ventricular contraction.

Cardiovascular risk factors and/or disease have been recognized as COVID-19 risk factors that have a high negative impact on patient outcomes, since early in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Researchers hypothesized that predisposition to heart failure would be associated with more severe cases of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients.

Traditionally, heart function is measured by ejection fraction, or how much blood the left ventricle pumps out with each contraction of the heart. First-phase ejection fraction is a new measure of the heart's function that seems to be much more sensitive of early, undetected damage to the heart than traditional ejection fraction measures."

Phil Chowienczyk, M.B.B.S., B.Sc., study author, professor of cardiovascular clinical pharmacology at St. Thomas' Hospital, in London

To determine if first-phase ejection fraction predicted adverse patient outcomes, researchers analyzed mortality rates for 129 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, China, and 251 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in South London, treated between February and May 2020, were analyzed. All patients had echocardiography upon hospital admission, and the average patient age was 58 years. Researchers compared echocardiography results of COVID-19 patients to adult patients with otherwise similar health profiles who had an echocardiography test before the pandemic.

First-phase ejection fraction was measured with conventional echocardiography imaging conducted at hospitalized patients' bedsides. Researchers note that there is not a universally established 'normal' value for first-phase ejection fraction. Based on previous research, they estimated that the normal first-phase ejection fraction value should be above 25%. When first-phase ejection fraction was less than 25%, researchers referred to it as 'impaired,' suggesting relatively subtle signs of heart damage.

The authors found that COVID-19 patients with a first-phase ejection fraction of less than 25% had a nearly five-fold higher risk of death than those with an ejection fraction of 25% or higher. They also found that a similar proportion of people with similar risk factors who did not have COVID-19 had low values of first-phase ejection fraction. This suggests that the damage to the heart may be due to chronic pre-existing conditions and was not the result of COVID-19 infection.

"Patients with impaired first-phase ejection fraction could be prioritized for vaccines and, if they get COVID-19, monitored closely at the early stages of their illness to prevent deterioration," Chowienczyk said. "The findings suggest that if we can prevent the very early chronic damage to the heart detected using first-phase ejection fraction imaging, then people will be much more likely to survive respiratory infections like COVID-19. Healthy lifestyle choices, better treatments and adherence to treatments for high blood pressure and high cholesterol are also important."

Researchers note that this is a relatively small study, so the findings need to be confirmed in larger studies with more patients. If the results are confirmed, first-phase ejection fraction could be a new way to identify patients at elevated risk of dying from COVID-19 and possibly other types of pneumonia.

Posted in: Medical Research News | Medical Condition News | Disease/Infection News

Tags: Blood, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Chronic, Health Care, Health Insurance, Healthy Lifestyle, Heart, Heart Disease, Heart Failure, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Hospital, Imaging, Mortality, Pandemic, pH, Pharmacology, Pneumonia, Research, Respiratory, SARS, SARS-CoV-2, Stroke

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This Doubles Your Risk of Death After a Heart Attack, New Study Says | Eat This Not That

Eat This, Not That 10 May, 2021 - 07:15am

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Covid: Undetected early heart damage ups death risk

Greatandhra.com 10 May, 2021 - 07:01am

New York: Hospitalised Covid-19 patients with an often undetected sign of heart failure were nearly five times more likely to die, according to new research.

The study showed Covid-19 patients with a first-phase ejection fraction -- a measure of the left ventricular ejection fraction until the time of maximal ventricular contraction -- of less than 25 per cent had a nearly five-fold higher risk of death than those with an ejection fraction of 25 per cent or higher.

The team also found that a similar proportion of people with similar risk factors who did not have Covid-19 had low values of first-phase ejection fraction. This suggests that the damage to the heart may be due to chronic pre-existing conditions and was not the result of Covid-19 infection, the researchers said.

"Traditionally, heart function is measured by ejection fraction, or how much blood the left ventricle pumps out with each contraction of the heart," said Phil Chowienczyk, Professor of cardiovascular clinical pharmacology at St Thomas' Hospital, in London.

"First-phase ejection fraction is a new measure of the heart's function that seems to be much more sensitive of early, undetected damage to the heart than traditional ejection fraction measures," he added. The findings are published in the journal Hypertension.

Cardiovascular risk factors and/or disease have been recognised as Covid-19 risk factors that have a high negative impact on patient outcomes, since early in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Researchers hypothesised that predisposition to heart failure would be associated with more severe cases of Covid-19 in hospitalised patients.

The team analysed mortality rates for 129 hospitalised Covid-19 patients in Wuhan, China, and 251 hospitalised Covid-19 patients in South London, treated between February and May 2020.

"The findings suggest that if we can prevent the very early chronic damage to the heart detected using first-phase ejection fraction imaging, then people will be much more likely to survive respiratory infections like Covid-19. Healthy lifestyle choices, better treatments and adherence to treatments for high blood pressure and high cholesterol are also important," Chowienczyk noted.

Tags: COVID-19

Cardiac care advances a 'modern miracle' says GP, as KGH develops pioneering clinic

Northamptonshire Telegraph 10 May, 2021 - 04:38am

Dr Richard Withers, a GP in Peterborough, is one of a number of patients to benefit from a new service to further aid the recovery of heart attack patients.

The Rothwell Road hospital has become one of only a few hospitals in the country to develop a specialist Post MI (myocardial infarction) Clinic which supports and monitors patients intensively after their heart attack. Across the country NHS patients who have a heart attack receive acute care followed by support from a cardiac rehabilitation team and their GP. They then commonly have to wait several months for routine follow-up clinics with their consultant cardiologist.

Dr Withers, 64, had a heart attack in November and has now benefited from the new service - and said he has seen a major transformation in cardiac care since his early days as a GP.

He said: “Thirty years ago I would be called to a patient with a heart attack and only be able to administer morphine - and perhaps send them to hospital, where little more could be done.

“Then there was the revolution of clot-busting drugs and more recently the amazingly procedures they can now carry out as soon as you arrive at hospital – opening up the coronary arteries using balloons and metal stents.

“The Cardiac MI Clinic is another new development and a great idea. Medication to maximise recovery needs to be carefully administered and built up over time to have the maximum effect. This specialist clinic is taking a detailed look at an individual’s personal circumstances and doing the right things to ensure that everything that can be done is being done, and in the right way.

“I was very impressed with the whole set up and the way the team all worked together. The way cardiac care has advanced really is a modern miracle. “

Associate cardiology specialist Dr Mohammed El-Din established the Post MI Clinic at KGH in August 2020 and is carrying out ongoing research to prove its benefit.

He said: “KGH’s consultant cardiologists run the county’s heart attack service and our specialist teams do a great job of preventing and treating heart attacks.

“Our cardiac rehabilitation team also do fantastic work supporting patients to become active again and regain their confidence.

“What I want to do with the Cardiac MI Clinic is to demonstrate the value of having an additional specialist clinic to intervene within the first three months of the heart attack.

“This is important because there is increasing evidence that intensive follow-up enables patient care to be optimised.

“For example medication is a major part of aftercare and it needs to be carefully adjusted to the individual to give them the best possible outcome.

“This helps the patient maximise their recovery and reduce the risk of a future heart attack or other heart problems.

“Having the Cardiac MI Clinic enables us to provide a gold standard of care for patients who have had the traumatic experience of having a heart attack.

“It helps us to reassure them that everything that can be done for them is being done.”

The Cardiac MI Clinics are held every week by Dr El-Din and specialist cardiac nurses. There is also input from consultant diabetologist Dr Mike Pierides to support patients with diabetes who have had a heart attack.

Retired sales representative Jim Bence, 56, from Mawsley, collapsed with a heart attack while cooking on January 8.

He said: “I was rushed to KGH as an emergency. I had a stent fitted and that was followed by some cardiac rehabilitation. The care I received was unbelievably good.

“The extra Cardiac MI Clinic appointment came afterwards and it was fantastic.

“My wife Sarah and I had a list of questions we wanted to ask and the clinic gave us that chance. They ran through my blood tests and explained my medication and how it worked. It was very reassuring to know that everything that could be done to support my recovery was being done.”

Dr El-Din and his KGH colleague, Dr Damanpreet Dev, a cardiology registrar, delivered their research findings on the new clinic last month at the European Society of Cardiology’s Preventive Cardiology Conference 2021.

Dr Dev said: “KGH’s cardiology team has always encourages innovation. We have been able to carry out research to demonstrate the positive impact the new clinic is having for patients.

“The clinic has enabled us to optimise the medications for best effect, we were able to encourage patients to stick to better lifestyle. There were additional benefits of identifying risk factors which are associated with poor outcomes after myocardial infarction and treating them so that we can reduce mortality. This clinic has provided a training opportunity to improve future quality of care.

“Overall the benefits have been significant and it has been a great piece of multi-disciplinary work with our excellent advanced cardiac nurse practitioners and our colleagues in diabetes care and our lipidology clinic (where blood fat (lipid) are tested).”

“This clinic shows Kettering hospital is there for the community and working hard to bring world class care right to the heart of Northamptonshire.’’

Covid-19 could cause long-lasting damage to heart: Doctors - The Statesman

The Statesman 10 May, 2021 - 02:41am

People with heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other co-morbidities fall into the high-risk category as they get sick from Covid. The virus not only affects the lungs and the brain but your heart as well.”

IANS | NEW DELHI |

A large number of recovered patients from Covid-19 have encountered heart problems and even patients with existing heart problems have felt its effects. The virus can lead to heart injury, heart failure, stroke, and damage to your heart say, doctors.

“People with heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other co-morbidities fall into the high-risk category as they get sick from Covid. The virus not only affects the lungs and the brain but your heart as well. There is a steep rise in post-Covid patients with cardiac issues like breathing problems, chest tightness and pain, sudden palpitations, heart attack, myocarditis, swelling of the heart, low pumping capacity, heart failure, blood clotting, and arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat). The reason behind heart damage can be attributed to high levels of inflammation in one’s body. As the body’s immune system tackles the virus, the inflammatory process damages some healthy tissues, including the heart,” said Pramod Narkhede, Cardiologist, Apollo Clinic, Pune.

Narkhede added, “Covid infection impacts the inner surfaces of one’s veins and arteries that lead to blood vessel inflammation, damage to small vessels, compromising blood flow to the heart and even other parts of the body. Once you spot signs like dizziness, light-headedness, sudden palpitation, hypertension, vomiting, sweating, and shortness of breath then consult your doctor.”

Narayan Gadkar, Consultant Cardiologist, Zen Multispeciality Hospital, Chembur, highlighted, “If there is plaque build-up in the arteries then the virus will lead to a heart attack. That is why one’s with Covid are at a higher risk of a heart attack. Covid caused mortality and morbidity in patients with heart disease. Covid has led to cardiac injury in people who were free of any heart disease. There will be an advancement of heart disease in people with pre-existing heart conditions. Patients with dilated cardiomyopathy need to take enough care as it can also worsen after Covid-19.”

Gadkar added, “Or even if you have uncontrolled hypertension then your arteries will be damaged owing to the high blood pressure. Covid will directly attack one’s heart and you will have serious complications as your heart muscles are already under stress owing to the high blood pressure. This will lead to inflammation of the heart muscle that is myocarditis due to the overactive immune response produced by the body owing to the virus. Thus, heart failure can occur in such a situation. Covid-19 could presage heart failure that is a chronic, progressive condition wherein heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body declines at a rapid rate.”

Those who have developed chest pain post-Covid recovery or those who have minor heart problems already and got infected with Covid-19 should go for cardiac tests to determine the functioning of the heart, the doctors say.

It is the need of the hour to embrace a healthy lifestyle and take care of your heart. Don’t forget to go for regular follow-ups, too. Try to take care of your heart by exercising regularly, eating a well-balanced diet, and adhere to Covid protocol.

MIRROR LIGHTS- If you had covid-19, take extra care of your heart: Doctors

Bangalore Mirror 09 May, 2021 - 07:30pm

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‘Welcome reassurance’: Mild Covid-19 infection unlikely to cause lasting heart damage, UK study finds

RT 09 May, 2021 - 10:08am

Amid increasing concerns about blood clots following coronavirus infections and the potential associated risk of longer-term damage to patients’ hearts, the study is the largest and most detailed to date looking at potential long-term risks associated with milder cases. 

The UCL researchers found no difference in the size or quantity of muscle within the left ventricle of both patient groups' hearts. The left ventricle is the main heart chamber responsible for pumping blood around the body and out of the heart. 

Inflammation, scarring and elasticity of the aorta were also found to be the same across both groups. 

There were also no differences in key blood markers between both patient groups, which might indicate persistent heart muscle damage. 

As a result of this study, the researchers suggest redirecting resources away from heart screens of recovered Covid-19 patients who only experienced a mild infection, proposing that they would be better spent looking at high-risk groups or studying the long-term impact of more severe Covid-19 infections.

“We've been able to capitalise on our incredible frontline staff who've been exposed to the virus this past year and we're pleased to show that the majority of people who've had Covid-19 seem to not be at increased risk of developing future heart complications,” said Dr. Thomas Treibel of the UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science and Barts Health NHS Trust.

“We now need to focus our attention on the long-term impact the virus has in those who've been hit hardest by the disease,” he said.  

Dr. Sonya Babu-Narayan, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, described the findings as “welcome reassurance to the hundreds of thousands of people who have experienced Covid-19 with mild or no symptoms.”

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