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Cardiovascular risk and complications associated with COVID-19.

Krittanawong C, Kumar A, Hahn J, Wang Z, Zhang HJ, Sun T, Bozkurt B, Ballantyne CM, Virani SS, Halperin JL, Jneid H. Cardiovascular risk and complications associated with COVID-19. American journal of cardiovascular disease. 2020 Oct 15; 10(4):479-489.

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In December 2019, an unprecedented outbreak of pneumonia cases associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) first occurred in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The disease, later named Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by the World Health Organization (WHO), was caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), and on January 30, 2020, the WHO declared the outbreak of COVID-19 to be a public health emergency. COVID-19 is now a global pandemic impacting more than 43,438,043 patients with 1,158,596 deaths globally as of August 26th, 2020. COVID-19 is highly contagious and has caused more deaths than SARS in 2002-2003 or the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012-2013 combined and represents an unprecedented human affliction not seen since the influenza pandemic of 1918. COVID-19 has been associated with several cardiac complications, including hypercoagulability, acute myocardial injury and myocarditis, arrhythmias, and acute coronary syndromes. Patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease (CVD) are at the highest risk for myocardial injury and mortality among infected patients. The mechanism by which COVID-infected patients develop cardiac complications remains unclear, though it may be mediated by increased ACE-2 gene expression. Despite initial concerns, there is no evidence that angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) therapy increases risk for myocardial injury among those infected with COVID-19. In the current report, we summarize the peer-reviewed and preprint literature on cardiovascular risks and complications associated with COVID-19, as well as provide insights into its pathogenesis and management.

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