A medical study conducted in 2020 has shown that COVID-19 could cause damage to the heart.

Based on the September 2020 study, the risk of a first heart attack increased by three to eight times in the first week after a COVID-19 infection was diagnosed.

The researchers followed nearly 87,000 people in Sweden infected over an eight-month period to get the data.

They said their study has shown that their risk of stroke increased up to six times.

The researchers explained COVID is deadly to the heart because COVID-19 can spread through the bloodstream, leaving damaged cells.

Richard Becker, a physician, professor, and director of the Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, revealed same virus proteins so adept at attaching to cells in the lower respiratory system could also connect to heart tissue.

Becker added that as many as 20 percent of people with severe COVID-19 show signs of heart damage.

He said even mild infection could cause damage, most often from myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart that occurs two to three times in every 1,000 COVID-19 cases.

Moreover, Becker said COVID also increases the risk of blood clots that can lead to heart attacks.

”The potential for long-term cardiovascular risk is a concern,” Becker said.

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