Question: Why are we heart patients are a risk group for influenza A? Judit (Barcelona).
Answer: The flu is an infectious disease that affects the respiratory tract in humans. Cardiovascular patients are recognized as a risk group for any influenza infection. The mechanism by which the influenza virus, both seasonal and a sporadic outbreak, can cause or aggravate cardiovascular diseases is very varied: 1) Only rarely can it directly infect the heart, causing inflammation of the heart (myocarditis); 2) More frequently it can trigger episodes of myocardial infarction, possibly due to inflammation and rupture of the atheroma plaques of the coronary arteries; 3) In addition, in heart failure patients contemplating shortness of breath or drowning, either in exertion or at rest, symptoms may be aggravated if an airway infection occurs.