News Interview with Executive Manager of Cardiology and Interventional Cardiologist, Professor Stephen Worthley

Our Executive Manager for Cardiology, Professor Stephen Worthley, sat down with Sky News Australia to speak about the risk factors associated with COVID-19 for people with heart disease and the importance of maintaining your heart health during self-isolation.

There is a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in those dying from COVID-19 in the worst affected counties, Italy and China. In fact, one-third of Italian and 1-in-10 Chinese patients who died from COVID-19 had heart disease. This has prompted the call from leading experts for at-risk Aussies to urgently speak to their healthcare professional and update their CVD health plan, utilising telehealth and online services available.

Professor Stephen Worthley said:

“During this global health crisis we are facing, we as the medical profession do not want to be alarmist. Alerting Australians living with cardiovascular disease to their increased risk of severe COVID-19 complications means they can speak to their healthcare professional and put plans in place to safeguard themselves against COVID-19.”

“COVID-19 can cause problems with breathing and breathlessness, which can put great stress on the heart, and so people with heart disease appear to be at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 infection”

“While we don’t believe the COVID-19 virus itself affects the heart, it does seem to place the heart under significant strain by compromising lung function, which is why we have seen some people infected with the virus die due to cardiac complications.”

COVID-19 patients with pre-existing heart conditions 'are more likely to have a poor outcome'

Interventional Cardiologist Steve Worthley says people with heart conditions should be “especially vigilant with the behaviours that we know can reduce the chance that they will be infected” by COVID-19.

Posted by Sky News Australia on Friday, April 10, 2020

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