COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

Information and resources for health care professionals.

People with CVD are at higher risk of the most severe COVID-19 complications

People with CVD are more susceptible to severe complications if infected with COVID-19, including intensive care admission and death. Emerging data suggests that people with CVD may have a five-fold higher case fatality rate compared to the overall COVID-19 infected population1.

While it’s largely a respiratory disease, COVID-19 can also damage the heart and worsen existing heart conditions. For those infected with COVID-19, acute cardiac injury can manifest as left ventricular dysfunction, heart failure, ventricular arrhythmias and ECG changes1.

Stay connected with your patients living with CVD, now more than ever

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented global impact on public health and health care delivery. Outside of direct health consequences, social distancing restrictions have also disrupted the delivery of routine health care across the country.

The changes have fast-tracked digital and health policy innovations unlike any the primary care sector has seen over such a short period of time. However, there is growing concern that people with chronic diseases are avoiding their regular medical visits, investigations or vaccinations in a bid to avoid contracting COVID-19.

  • Encourage your patients to continue their current treatment and management plans
  • Utilise new telehealth MBS items to keep connected with your patients while they are in isolation, but face to face visits may still be necessary
  • Continue to offer your eligible patients chronic disease management plans which are now covered by telehealth MBS items and can be claimed by GPs and contributed to by practice nurses
  • Make the most of new special arrangements which allow for prescriptions to be sent to pharmacies via fax, email or text message where necessary
  • Encourage eligible patients, including those living with CVD, to have their medicines delivered to their homes under the new Home Medicines Service where appropriate

Don’t discontinue ACE inhibitor or ARB therapy

There have been early concerns about the safety and value of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was speculated because the SARS-CoV-2 virus enters cells by binding to human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)1. There is insufficient clinical evidence that ACE-I, ARBs or other inhibitors of the renin angiotensin system are either harmful or beneficial to COVID-19 infection or its complications2

Prioritise influenza vaccination for your patients living with CVD

People with CVD are at increased risk of hospitalisation or death associated with influenza infection. Influenza vaccination can reduce risk of myocardial infarction by between 15 - 45%, which is on par with or better than many established preventative therapies including statins, antihypertensives and smoking cessation3.

Resources

For Health Professionals

For Consumers



References

1. Cardiovascular disease and COVID-19: Australian/New Zealand consensus statement. Med J Aust. April 2020
2. COVID, ACE inhibitors/ARBs, and cardiovascular diseases. Med J Aust. April 2020
3. Influenza vaccine as a coronary intervention for prevention of myocardial infarction. Heart. September 2016

You might also be interested in

4 tips to keep your heart healthy while working from home

4 tips to keep your heart healthy while working from home

4 tips to keep your heart healthy while working from home

Acute Coronary Syndromes tools from the guidelines

Acute Coronary Syndromes tools from the guidelines

Assessment protocols and algorithm for health care professionals...

Stay informed about COVID-19

Stay informed about COVID-19

Stay informed about COVID-19

If you have heart disease, you are more vulnerable to severe complications....

COVID-19 and heart disease risks

COVID-19 and heart disease risks

COVID-19 and heart disease risks

Answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and heart disease. ...

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) clinical resources

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

WEBINAR | Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update

WEBINAR | Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update

A multidisciplinary panel of experts discuss the practical application of absolute CVD risk assessment through Heart Health Checks....

For professionals: Heart Health Checks

For professionals: Heart Health Checks

Heart Health Checks have been supported by Medicare since April 2019....

Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS) clinical guidelines

Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS) clinical guidelines

Guidelines for acute coronary syndromes for clinical care of patients presenting with suspected or confirmed ACS....

Heart failure - tools from the guidelines

Heart failure - tools from the guidelines

Discover a range of heart failure tools derived from the guidelines for the Prevention, Detection, and Management of Heart Failure in Australia 2018. ...

COVID-19 and the flu vaccine

COVID-19 and the flu vaccine

COVID-19 and the flu vaccine

Getting a flu shot now will help in the fight against COVID-19....

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) clinical resources

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Cardiac rehabilitation resources for healthcare providers

Cardiac rehabilitation resources for healthcare providers

Useful cardiac rehabilitation resources for health professionals....

Looking after your emotional health in uncertain times

Looking after your emotional health in uncertain times

Looking after your emotional health in uncertain times

Blog by Carlye Weiner, Clinical Psychologist...

Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease

Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease

The Australian Guideline for Prevention, Diagnosis and Management of Acute Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease (2nd Edition)​....

Heart Health Network

Heart Health Network

Heart Health Network

Heart Health Network is the Heart Foundation’s newsletter for health professionals delivered to your inbox once a month....

Exercises to do at home

Exercises to do at home

Exercises to do at home

All you need to know about keeping active during COVID-19....

Absolute CVD risk assessment resources

Absolute CVD risk assessment resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Surprising ways your family can meet the challenge to keep active

Surprising ways your family can meet the challenge to keep active

Surprising ways your family can meet the challenge to keep active

Atrial fibrillation clinical resources for healthcare professionals

Atrial fibrillation clinical resources for healthcare professionals

Clinical resources for healthcare professionals including algorithms and key practice points....

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Got a question about your heart?...

Food and healthy eating during COVID-19

Food and healthy eating during COVID-19

Food and healthy eating during COVID-19

Healthy eating and COVID-19 FAQ...

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Full list of clinical guidlines and references for CVD, heart failure, ACS, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, SCAD and RHD...

This Father’s Day share the ways you protect your heart

This Father’s Day share the ways you protect your heart

This Father’s Day share the ways you protect your heart

Have you thought about what you are getting for your children this Father’s Day?...

Atrial fibrillation clinical guidelines

Atrial fibrillation clinical guidelines

Clinical information for diagnosis and management of atrial fibrillation...

WEBINAR | CVD & COVID-19

WEBINAR | CVD & COVID-19

WEBINAR | CVD & COVID-19

Ask the experts: caring for people with CVD during COVID-19...

COVID-19 info & FAQs

COVID-19 info & FAQs

COVID-19 info & FAQs

Information and FAQs about COVID-19 and heart disease....

Atrial fibrillation interactive tools from the guidelines

Atrial fibrillation interactive tools from the guidelines

Atrial fibrillation interactive tools from the guidelines

These tools and algorithms are for healthcare professionals and have been developed from the Australian Clinical Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Atrial Fibrillation 2018. ...

Stay connected with your doctor

Stay connected with your doctor

Stay connected with your doctor

It's important that you stay connected with your doctor as needed. ...

Heart failure clinical resources

Heart failure clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Clinical resources: Coronary heart disease and mental health

Clinical resources: Coronary heart disease and mental health

The prevalence of depression is high in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD)....

Staying active at home during COVID-19

Staying active at home during COVID-19

Staying active at home during COVID-19

Physical activity and COVID-19 FAQ...

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and management

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and management

Absolute CVD risk assessment is an integrated approach that estimates the cumulative risk of multiple risk factors to predict a heart attack or stroke event in the next five years....

Heart failure clinical resources

Heart failure clinical resources

Clinical resources for health care professionals to improve the management of patients with heart failure. ...

Heart failure clinical factsheets

Heart failure clinical factsheets

Information about the diagnosis, classification and pharmacological management of heart failure. ...

Heart failure clinical guidelines

Heart failure clinical guidelines

Guidelines for the prevention, detection and management of heart failure....

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Clinical information for diagnosis and management of hypertension....

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management resources for health professionals...

Pregnancy and heart disease

Pregnancy and heart disease

Information and resources for health professionals....

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Clinical information and links to SCAD resources....

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Information and resources for health professionals....

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Join the fight against Australia’s biggest killer by supporting the Heart Foundation.  ...

How we fought heart disease in 2020

How we fought heart disease in 2020

How we fought heart disease in 2020

Everything we do is possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters. ...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join our community of fundraisers who are committed to taking action to fight heart disease....

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

There is no single cause for any one heart condition, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing one. ...

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Visit the St Vincents Hospital NSW and Heart Foundation Aboriginal heart health website for more information...

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation programs and resources to support your recovery....

Heart Foundation Research Award Recipients

Heart Foundation Research Award Recipients

Explore our research award recipients and projects...

Heart disease and pregnancy

Heart disease and pregnancy

Heart disease and pregnancy

Pregnancy is often referred to as the “ultimate stress test” for the body....

Celebrate the life of someone you love by giving to the Heart Foundation in their memory

Celebrate the life of someone you love by giving to the Heart Foundation in their memory

Celebrate the life of someone you love by giving to the Heart Foundation in their memory

End of Financial Year Tax Receipt

End of Financial Year Tax Receipt

End of Financial Year Tax Receipt

Looking to claim your donations in your tax return this financial year?...

Salad recipes

Salad recipes

Salad recipes

Search through our tasty salad recipes...

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Explore our guide for driving and heart attack recovery. ...

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) clinical resources

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

If you're 45 and over, or 30 and over if you're of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, you should book your Heart Health Check today...

What is angina?

What is angina?

What is angina?

Angina is a type of chest pain or discomfort that’s a symptom of an underlying heart problem, usually coronary heart disease (CHD)....

Aussie men among the world’s most obese, new data

Aussie men among the world’s most obese, new data

Aussie men among the world’s most obese, new data

Media Release - 16 November 2020...

Philanthropic investments

Philanthropic investments

Philanthropic investments

Making philanthropic investments through the Heart Foundation can transform Australians’ health. ...

Reading food labels

Reading food labels

Reading food labels

Nutrition information panels and ingredients lists are a good way of comparing similar foods so you can choose the healthiest option....

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Become a Heart Foundation fundraiser, do it for heart and make a real difference to your community....

General Practitioner Survey 2020

General Practitioner Survey 2020

This survey has been designed to collect feedback from general practitioners about their awareness and use of Heart Foundation materials....

Permanent Pacemaker (PPM)

Permanent Pacemaker (PPM)

A small, battery-powered device that is fitted under the skin of your upper chest....

Norm discovered he was at risk of a major heart attack just in the nick of time

Norm discovered he was at risk of a major heart attack just in the nick of time

Norm discovered he was at risk of a major heart attack just in the nick of time

Norm didn’t worry too much about his cholesterol problem – until an angiogram revealed he had an 80 per cent blockage in a major heart artery. ...

Applying for research funding with the Heart Foundation

Applying for research funding with the Heart Foundation

Applying for research funding with the Heart Foundation

Discover more about our various funding programs, requirements, and application dates now....

Asian recipes

Asian recipes

Asian recipes

Find heart healthy Asian recipes....

Action Plans

Action Plans

Action Plans

Recovery is a long journey, so having a plan makes a huge difference. Using an action plan gives you a step-by-step guide to improving your lifestyle....

Workplace giving for employees

Workplace giving for employees

Workplace giving for employees

Your employer’s workplace giving program makes it easy to setup regular, tax-deductible donations from your pre-tax income. ...

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart teaches school children how to keep fit and healthy through skipping!...

Blood pressure and your heart

Blood pressure and your heart

Blood pressure and your heart

Understand blood pressure and how it can impact your heart health....

Pilbara Aboriginal Heart Health Program

Pilbara Aboriginal Heart Health Program

Pilbara Aboriginal Heart Health Program

The program works with local communities to help improve heart health in the Pilbara....