What about heart and mind in the COVID-19 era?

Minerva Cardiol Angiol. 2021 Apr;69(2):222-226. doi: 10.23736/S0026-4725.20.05309-8. Epub 2020 May 12.


From the time of Hippocratic medicine, heart-brain interactions have been recognized and contributed to both mental and physical health. Heart-brain interactions are complex and multifaceted and appear to be bidirectional. Exposure to chronic and daily stressors such as quarantine, or severe psychological trauma like a significant person in danger of life can affect the cardiovascular system and the emotional experience of the individual, leading to an increased risk of developing a cardiovascular disease or mental illness. Subjects with comorbidities between mental disorders and heart diseases are obviously more susceptible to be influenced by emotional burden due to the spread of COVID-19, with emotional responses characterized by fear, panic, anger, frustration. Psychological services and crisis interventions are needed at an early stage to reduce anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in such a stressful period, with a special attention to special groups of patients, such as women, children, or the elderly.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology
  • Heart Diseases / etiology*
  • Heart Diseases / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / etiology*
  • Mental Disorders / prevention & control
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*