How does COVID-19 affect the cardiovascular system?

Bottom Line:

Cardiac manifestations of COVID-19 include heart failure, cardiogenic shock, arrhythmias, heart inflammation and coronary symptoms. Risk factors for the development of cardiac manifestations include, but are not limited to, pre-existing cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and elevated troponin.


Shafi, A.M.A. et al. Cardiac manifestations in COVID‐19 patients—A systematic review. Journal of Cardiac Surgery (2020).

Date Published:

11 July 2020


This review looked at 61 published articles to better understand cardiac manifestations (i.e. symptoms relating to the cardiovascular system) associated with COVID-19 infection, along with risk factors and biomarkers for them. The researchers found that pre-existing cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, elevated troponin (a marker of heart injury), among many others, were risk factors for the development of cardiovascular manifestations from COVID-19 infection. Cardiac manifestations due to COVID-19 have been studied and were noted to include heart failure and cardiogenic shock (i.e. your heart is unable to pump enough blood), heart arrhythmias, heart inflammation/injury, and coronary artery manifestations. Finally, various biomarkers specific to the heart were also seen as a result of COVID-19 infection such as troponin, creatine kinase (another marker of heart damage), among others. Overall, infection with novel coronavirus has been shown to affect numerous body systems, including the cardiovascular system. This information should be duly noted among healthcare professionals to help improve the prognosis for their patients with COVID-19.

Summary by: Max Solish