Scientist wearing PPE

Coronavirus & Your Heart

Cardiovascular disease & coronavirus (COVID-19)

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis unfolds, the world is turning to health and medical researchers for answers. Find out more about coronavirus and how it impacts the heart.

We hope these resources provide you with useful information in these uncertain times.

Please look after yourselves,
From the team at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute

How COVID has impacted our heart health

Nearly half of Australians undergoing Victor Chang Heart Health Checks (VCHHC) had test results outside of the healthy range.

The Heart Health Check specialist team, which conducts a mobile testing service, found cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels were all significantly higher since the start of COVID-19.

Nurse measuring blood pressure of a female patient - Mobile Heart health Check

Long COVID and Chronic Fatigue - January 2023

The Institute’s Professor Livia Hool is playing a pivotal role in a collaborative study that is transforming our understanding of the causes of long COVID and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

Scientists have honed in on the mechanics of how the body’s immunity becomes compromised and discovered a striking similarity between the two conditions.

Professor Livia Hool in the Institute's WA laboratory

Long COVID Research Update - May 2022

In Australia, secondary COVID-19 syndrome long COVID is an emerging health problem due to rising case numbers caused by the Omicron variant.

Our experts summarise the latest research on long COVID - how common it is, how it affects the heart, and what treatment options are currently available.

Image of a woman looking fatigued

What we know now about COVID-19 – December 2021 Edition

As 2021 comes to a close, our Executive Director Professor Jason Kovacic discusses the latest advice and research relating to COVID-19 including vaccines, boosters and long COVID and what we know so far about the Omicron variant.

Image of a COVID-19 particle

Everything you need to know about long COVID

As cases continue to rise in Australia and COVID-19 looks set to be with us for many years to come, world-leading long COVID expert, Dr David Putrino sits down with the Institute’s Professor Jason Kovacic to answer the questions everyone needs to know.

Dr David Putrino shares with us the lessons from America's experience with COVID-19.

Image of hospital staff in protective equipment

COVID-19 & Young People FAQs

With rising numbers of coronavirus infections among people, including children under 9 who now are accounting for around one in four new cases.

Professor Graham answers your queries here about young people, their risk and vaccines.

Image of two children wearing face masks and backpacks

Delta Complications for Young People

In a new statement, the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute’s Executive Director Professor Jason Kovacic is warning Australians how the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreading has the potential to cause serious infections and complications in younger people.

Woman in a city street wearing a face mask looks a the camera

Vaccinations, Heart Health, and Side Effects

With a new wave of COVID cases across NSW, many heart patients and supporters reached out to us with some questions. Our Executive Director and cardiologist Professor Jason Kovacic addresses some vaccine concerns including:

  • AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines and heart complications
  • Blood clots associated with vaccines
  • What is Long COVID?
Prof Jason Kovacic receiving his COVID-19 vaccine from a nurse

COVID-19 Vaccines and Heart Disease

The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine is well underway in Australia, but what does that mean for people with heart disease? Professor Bob Graham answers the frequently asked questions including:

  • Is the vaccine safe for people with heart disease?
  • What side-effects should I be worried about when I have pre-existing heart conditions?
  • Should children with CHD get vaccinated?
Screenshot of Prof Bob Graham answering question about COVID-19 and heart disease

Understanding COVID-19: The Basics

Professor Bob Graham has teamed up with Dr Geoff Symonds, to break down some key questions to help you understand how viruses like COVID-19 work including:

  • What is the difference between a virus and bacteria?
  • How does COVID-19 impact our bodies?
  • How is COVID-19 treated?
  • How does hygiene and distancing help against COVID-19?
Image of coronavirus particles

Do you have questions about the Coronavirus?

We've compiled some of the most frequently asked questions for our panel of professors including world-renowned cardiologists Bob Graham, Jason Kovacic and Diane Fatkin who have more than 70 years of experience treating patients between them. Some questions covered include:

  • If you have heart disease, are you at increased risk of contracting COVID-19?
  • If someone has a pre-existing heart condition, should they get the flu shot this year?
  • I have a heart condition, do I need to cancel my upcoming doctor’s appointment/surgery at the hospital?
Image of a person washing their hands

How does coronavirus affect children?

In this video Professor Bob Graham and Professor Sally Dunwoodie answers your questions about COVID-19 and how it affects children, particularly those with congenital heart disease (CHD). The researchers cover topics including:

  • Coronavirus and children with congenital heart disease (CHD)
  • The link between coronavirus and Kawasaki Disease
  • Pregnancy and COVID-19
Prof Sally Dunwoodie and Prof Bob Graham answering questions

How does coronavirus affect the heart?

In this video Professor Bob Graham from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute answers your questions about COVID-19 and its impact on the heart. Questions include:

  • If you have heart disease are you at increased risk of contracting coronavirus (COVID-19)?
  • What is the doctor's advice for people with a severe heart condition?
  • What concerns do you have as a cardiologist about COVID-19?
Image of Prof Bob Graham

COVID-19 research at the Institute

Three new coronavirus related research projects are underway at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. Our scientists are trying to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the heart, the effect of certain drugs being used to treat the virus and the potential power of stem cells in treating patients.

Image of gloved hands by a microscope

FAQs on coronavirus - A New York Perspective

Professor Jason Kovacic, who has recently returned from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, shares his first-hand experience dealing with coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on his patients who have cardiovascular disease. He covers questions including:

  • How does COVID-19 affect the heart?
  • How are they currently treating heart disease patients with COVID-19?
  • What types of individuals are at risk of contracting COVID-19
Screenshot of Prof Jason Kovacic answering questions

Scientific analysis of coronavirus

World-renowned cardiologist, Professor Bob Graham, addresses some scientific questions about coronavirus (COVID-19). Questions include:

  • Are the mortality rates higher than initially expected?
  • What research is being conducted to try and combat coronavirus?
  • What does RO or SARS have to do with COVID-19?
Prof Bob Graham answering questions

Decline in cardiac patients seeking help

Alarming statistics show that cardiac patients are afraid to go to the hospital or visit the doctor in case they catch COVID-19. Even heart attack sufferers are ignoring symptoms until the illness is very advanced, putting their own lives in danger. In this video our expert Cardiologists outline the risks of delayed medical treatment, and address some FAQs about visiting health care services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Prof Jason Kovacic and Prof Bob Graham answering questions

Coronavirus in pictures

Watch this video which captures the historic moments in the fight against COVID-19 at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. It documents the critical work of scientists and how laboratories have adapted to ensure research continues, breakthroughs happen and lives are saved.

Scientist wearing a face mask working in the Institute's laboratories

COVID-19 Progress Report - August 2020

In a letter from our Executive Director, Professor Jason Kovacic, he shares with the community the latest developments on the COVID-19 research, and what has been learnt in the last few months.

Prof Jaosn Kovacic and Dr Xenia Kaidonis researching in our lab

June 2020 Update - What you need to know about coronavirus

Professor Bob Graham provides an update on Australia's current situation and the latest research in the fight against COVID-19. The video discusses Flattening the curve, COVID's impact on the lungs and blood, Surface spread of disease, and Coronavirus vaccines.

Screenshot of Prof Bob Graham providing a COVID-19 research update

Coronavirus in Western Australia

This video features Professor Livia Hool from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute who has been based in Western Australia for two decades conducting cardiovascular disease research. Here she answers your questions about COVID-19 and how it is impacting the vast state of Western Australia.

Screenshot of Prof Livia Hool talking about coronavirus in Western Australia
Acknowledgement of Country

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute - The Home of Heart Research for 30 Years