Why the links between cardiovascular risk and COVID-19?

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Register for live webinar on COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease

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Healthy heart charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust has launched a regular monthly series of live webinars on healthy life and how to prevent heart disease and related illnesses. Do please email us ( if you would like to suggest ideas for topics, questions and speakers for these live sessions.

Webinars are free and hosted on Zoom usually at 4pm UK time on the 3rd Monday of each month. If you wish to make a donation to the Cardiovascular Research Trust you may also do so on our EventBrite page.

The session will be recorded and available to watch on

Healthy heart live webinar. Session 2. One hour free live webinar

Why the links between cardiovascular risk from COVID-19? Clues for reducing disease severity.

Discussants include: Professor Bernard Cheung, University of Hong Kong; Professor Donald Singer, President of FPM, London.


Our speakers will discuss direct and indirect links between COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease and how these can be minimised. These include:

1. ACE-2 (angiotensin converting enzyme II) is the key docking protein by which the COVID-19 virus binds to cells. This is also the key cell entry receptor used by the initial SARS-CoV. ACE-2 is mainly found on vascular endothelial cells, the renal tubular epithelium and the Leydig cells of the testis. Copies of the ACE-2 protein are present in increased numbers in patients with risk factors for heart disease. ACE-2 could also be a therapeutic target in the treatment of COVID-19.

2. It is now clear that reasons why some people may have unexpectedly severe lung damage include pro-coagulant effect of  the COVID-19 virus. This can cause multiple clots in lung vessels, thus reducing the ability of the lungs to absorb oxygen from the air and clear carbon dioxide from the body. Other infections are well-recognised to increase blood coagulability  however these effects may be particularly severe in COVID-19.

3. Several drugs currently being used empirically or in clinical trials may cause cardiac toxicity resulting in sudden cardiac death arrhythmias.

4. There are also indirect reasons for increased cardiovascular disease because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include poorer recognition and control of cardiovascular risk factors and malnutrition in patients self-isolating at home.

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