Risk of COVID-19 and heart attack

There is a positive outlook on COVID-19 increase the risk of heart attack for those with pre -existing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) or familial hypercholesterolemia (FH)?

It has been shown that the higher mortality rate of COVID-19 may be associated with hypertension, heart failure, and cardiovascular disease. However, there are fewer patients who report severe myocardial infarction (AMI), or heart attack, to visit hospitals during a pandemic.

Researchers from across the United States collected data from approximately 55 million individuals for this study. They were divided into six categories based on available information, which included combinations of diagnosed FH, likely FH, diagnosed ASCVD, and none of the above. Differences between individuals were examined, and variables such as sex, age, ethnicity, and education level were included. Other medical diseases or conditions, cholesterol prescriptions, and any history of heart issues were given reasons to establish a baseline for the study.

Establishing these factors and considering them was taken into account for any baseline differences among participants. Those who ran the study then compared the six groups, and more effectively compared who tested positive for COVID-19 among the groups, and who did not.

If the test is positive for COVID-19, it is found to have a higher risk of AMI for individuals with both diagnosed and at risk of FH and those with pre-existing ASCVD. There was also a higher risk of AMI observed compared with other COVID-19 positive patients without ASCVD or FH.

A complete medical history was not available for all participants involved in this study, resulting in some notable limitations. Individuals with a history of ASCVD or FH may not be placed in the correct group for comparison due to missing data.

Although several variables were considered to establish baseline variability among group members, other factors such as obesity were not considered. The researchers also investigated whether there were associations between lipid lowering therapies (LLT) and people with FH who made and did not test positive for COVID-19. There was no significant relationship between people taking LLT and not, because the analyzes lacked statistical power.

These findings may encourage those with ASVD and FH to receive a COVID-19 vaccine because of the increased risk of AMI. In addition, it demonstrates the importance of diagnosing familial hypercholesterolemia, which helps to improve the health of each person and provide proper treatment.


Myers, K, D., et al. (2021) The association of COVID-19 with myocardial infarction in people with familial hypercholesterolemia with or without ASCVD. American Journal of Preventive Cardiology. doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpc.2021.100197.

Photo by PIRO4D from Pixabay

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