Impact Covid has on the Heart

The Connection Between COVID-19 and Heart Health: What Does Latest Research Have to Say?

cardiogram Heart Health

We all know how much the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world. But while many areas of life have returned to a state of relative normalcy, the toll it’s had on other areas, like heart health, continue on. 

It’s pretty well known that the respiratory system is one of the primary areas impacted by this particular virus. However, we’re also seeing that COVID-19 can have a significant impact on other systems, including the heart. How? Let’s see what the latest research has to say. 

The Link Between COVID-19 and Heart Health 

COVID-19, which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, primarily affects the respiratory system. However, the virus can also infect other organs, including the heart. One of the top concerns is that COVID-19 can cause damage to the heart muscle, which can then result in a range of other heart-related complications. 

According to a study published in JAMA Cardiology, up to 78% of patients who had recovered from COVID-19 showed signs of heart damage on cardiac MRI scans, and this included scarring and inflammation of the heart muscle.1 Another study found that COVID-19 patients who had pre-existing cardiovascular disease were at a significantly higher risk of mortality than those without cardiovascular disease.2 

As startling as this can be to discover, what's most important is to know there's a lot that can be done to lower the risk of complications caused by COVID-19. By leading a heart-healthy lifestyle, we always put ourselves in a much better position.


The Impact of COVID-19 on Heart Health 

COVID-19 can have a range of negative effects on heart health, including:

Myocarditis. This is an inflammation of the heart that can cause chest pain, fatigue, and shortness of breath. COVID-19 can cause myocarditis, which can lead to heart failure if left untreated. 

Arrhythmias. COVID-19 can lead to abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias, which can be potentially life-threatening if left untreated.

Acute Coronary Syndromes. COVID-19 can also cause other acute coronary syndromes, which are conditions that cause a reduction in blood flow to the heart. 

Thrombosis. Blood clots are another possible complication of COVID-19, which can block blood vessels and lead to heart attacks and strokes.

three people walking outside on dirt trail

Tending to Your Heart During and After COVID-19 

Taking care of your cardiovascular health by leading a healthy lifestyle is always the best start. This includes exercising regularly, eating a heart-healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and managing stress levels. And, of course, there are certain measures you can take that more geared towards COVID-19 specifically.

Follow Up with Healthcare Providers 

Those with pre-existing heart conditions and have had COVID-19 should follow up with their healthcare providers regularly. They should also use Cardiogram to monitor their heart rate and share this data with their doctor to help detect any potential complications early.

Manage Risk Factors 

Pre-existing heart conditions and COVID-19 can both be exacerbated by risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes. Managing these risk factors through lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and getting good sleep, can improve heart health and reduce the risk of complications. Enroll in any of Cardiogram's habits for added accountability.

Stay Active 

Regular exercise can improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease. Work with your healthcare provider to create a safe and effective exercise plan. And then, use Cardiogram to help you make sure you're working out in the optimal heart rate zones.

Manage Stress 

Stress can have a negative impact on heart health. Take steps to manage stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques, getting enough sleep, and seeking support from loved ones can all help reduce stress levels. You can enroll in Cardiogram's Stress Relief habits for extra accountability.

Getting Good Sleep 

Just like we consistently need a good night’s sleep to function at our best, our hearts need that same rest. Especially after experiencing COVID-19, the heart really needs proper sleep to get the chance to slow down and recover. You can keep track of your sleep with your sleep tags in Cardiogram as well as enroll in any of our Sleep Quality habits.


Emerging research indicates that COVID-19 can have a significant impact on heart health. The virus can cause damage to the heart muscle and lead to a range of heart-related complications. However, there are multiple precautions that can be taken to reduce the risk of complications caused by the virus, and continue leading a heart-healthy life.


Cardiogram app shown on phone and smart watch


Cardiogram app shown on phone and smart watch