Sick sinus node

I've got bradycardia sick sinus node and to control it ive had a pacemaker put in, I need to know if im a high risk if i contract coronavirus??



by Kettlebell man - 2020-03-21 18:25:36

That's a really good question, and one that many of us are asking right now. I had two stents and a PM put in last August, but really healthy now. Are we more susceptible to this thing? Anyone have an answer?


by Graham M - 2020-03-21 18:41:26

Those of us who have bradycardia are probably the lucky ones as the fault in our hearts is with the "electrical" conduction.  This is generally sorted by the pacemaker and shouldn't put us in the high risk group.  If, however, you have some damage to your myocardium due to another heart disease, then you may be high risk.

I'm sure your cardiologist will be able to tell you.


Risk factors

by Gemita - 2020-03-21 18:57:18

My understanding of an underlying health condition which would make us more vulnerable if we were to get Coronavirus would be conditions like CHF (Congestive heart failure), Ischaemic heart disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), Cancer especially if treatment is required like chemotherapy which would potentially weaken our immune systems, Diabetes, Autoimmune Disease - in fact any major illness or disease process likely to undermine our immune systems.  

A pacemaker in itself should pose no major or additional risk factor, providing we do not have any serious health problems (like stated above) and providing the implant has caused no complications like an infection.

I am 71 and hubby is 81.  We both have pacemakers.  Older age is a risk factor.  We also both have several health conditions too which put us at additional risk.  We just hope that we can remain virus free and are doing everything possible to build a strong immune system - that really is our best defence.

I hope you all stay well


by jfbuffy - 2020-03-21 20:50:36

Honestly, I think the answer to that question is the same answer to every legal question.  IT DEPENDS !  Same answer as to :"when should I take social Security and a whole host of other questions.  There are a lot of issues here that might make you more or less vulnerable and for every single person it is different. I personally would think age would be a BIG factor as well as autoimmune issues etc...

Probably not the answer you were looking for, but it's honest and probably as good of an answer as you're going to get.  But like another person commented  above we are all wondering the same thing !

SSS and WuFlu

by AgentX86 - 2020-03-21 22:03:54

If SSS is your only issue, no, you're at no more risk than anyone else at your age and in your condition.  IOW, a pacemaker, alone, makes no difference.  As others have said, the reason you have a pacemaker can mean a lot.  From what we've been told, this is a respiratory virus so will primarily attack the lungs, which will put additional stress on the other organs in particular the heart. A pacemaker will likely make you less at risk than without because your SSS is no longer a problem.

Of course, anything that lowers your immune system will make it easier to catch the virus, more difficult to shake, and more serious between.


by Debby - 2020-03-21 22:57:24

I wouldn't take the chance. Seems to me if you have a pacemaker that would be considered an underlying condition.

I am of the understanding that a pacemaker just controls the a fib it dosen't cure it. So to me this would go under the catagory of heart disease . Of course this is just my opinion. Everyone be careful & safe.


"High Risk" for Covid-19 , coronavirus

by Selwyn - 2020-03-22 08:04:43

Latest published study re. mortalitiy from the virus shows:

"Of the non-survivors in the study, 9% had chronic cardiac disease, 6% had chronic pulmonary disease, 22% had cerebrovascular disease, 22% had diabetes, 3% had malnutrition, 3% had dementia and 3% had  malignancy (Zhou et al, 2020).”

By chronic cardiac disease, we are talking about those with impaired cardiac FUNCTION, not those with pace-makers as the only problem.

There is some debate about people taking ACE and ACE-2 inhibitors ( for eg. hypertension, kidney disease), though at present there is no need to stop these as the evidence is quite sketchy.

Susceptibility to the virus: you have an increased chance of catching the viral illness ( as opposed to being infected without symptoms or having a mild infection) if you are elderly ( as the immune system is less efficient in the elderly: Older age was also associated with increased mortality, with a case fatality rate of 8, and 15 percent among those aged 70 to 79 years, and 80 years or older, respectively.), if you have immune deficiency, if you are diabetic. Smokers alter the function of their lungs and this enables the virus to settle in their lungs producting pneumonia. Anyone with lung diseae, likewise. 

Having a normally functioning heart with a pacemaker is not a risk factor.

I think having a lack of common sense and not taking heed of government medical advice, is a risk factor, as even young, fit peole die from this illness: In the United States, 2449 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 between February 12 and March 16, 2020 had age, hospitalization, and intensive care unit (ICU) information available; 67 percent of cases were diagnosed in those aged ≥45 years, and, similar to findings from China, mortality was highest among older individuals, with 80 percent of deaths occurring in those aged ≥65 years.


"High Risk"

by AgentX86 - 2020-03-22 11:38:21

That's interesting information and information that I hadn't seen elsewhere but like most statistics is incomplete/misleading [*].  It compares the people who died but not those who lived or the percentages of people in the general population with these diseases.  For instance (just exagerate my point, in no way intended to be a realistic number), if 1% of the general population have diabetes and 22% of the deaths were from diabetes, well, if you have diabetes you'd better bury your head between the sheets for a few months but it would only affect a small number of people.  Again, the above is for illustrative purposes only.

[*] For an interesting read, "How to lie with statistics" is a great book, though I read it at least fifty years ago.



At Risk

by WazzA - 2020-03-22 15:58:44

It strikes me that ANY disease/virus that attacks the Lungs/respiratory etc & makes your heart work harder than it should, would put anyone at some risk, even more if you already have a heart condition.

Since the virus is spreading so fast,  I feel anything I can do to reduce that risk is something that has to be done self isolation & social distancing as much as possible! 

Don't rely on the likes of Boris Johnson,Donald Trump etc for honest answers as to the health risk we ass cardiac patients face, we have to take responsibility ourselves.

At risk

by AgentX86 - 2020-03-22 16:27:26

But!  A pacemaker, alone, doesn't dimish the heart's operation at all.  The underlying reason for the paemaker might but the pacemaker itself has no bearing on it.  The jury is still out on other heart problems (particularly AF/FL) and other treated conditions. Of course, as already noted many times, things like COPD, pulmonay hypertension, and heart failure are, understandably, high risk factors. 

And you can stick the unfounded political crap where it belongs, and that's NOT HERE.

New UK info from Boris.

by Graham M - 2020-03-22 18:44:09

Those of us who are at high risk will receive a letter this week, advising to self-isolate for 12 weeks.  Apparently there are about 1.5 million people in the UK who fall into this category.

If you look at the government web-site, there is a list of ilnesses/conditions that are classed as underlying conditions for which social distancing is advised.  There is also a second list of conditions for which isolation is reccommended.  It is mainly very severe conditions such as chemotherapy for cancer, severe respiratory disease, having an organ transplant and anything else that causes a low immune system.

Heart disease is in the first list.

I work for the NHS so will have to go to work as usual, but if I follow the social distancing advice, I don't think I'll be at more risk than anyone else.

Best wishes everyone -  let's all keep as safe as possible.


Keep yourself safe either way

by JaeJae - 2020-03-23 09:38:39

I have been considering this alot lately too. I have just had my surgery so with healing etc I would say there is a chance we are more susceptible. (Although I'm glad I have a PM now as I'd hate to think how I might be if I didnt and was still so unwell with my heart). Either way at this time we need to keep our selves safe and if something makes us feel uncomfortable then I would say dont do it and stay home.

Here in New Zeland we have officially gone into full lock down and only easital services can function with no one to leave their homes and all schools etc shut. I will be being extra careful at this time just to make sure. Better to be safe than sorry.

Good luck!

Corona virus and New Zealand

by Selwyn - 2020-03-23 10:45:51

H JaeJae,

So far New Zealand is doing very well- no deaths to date from the virus and about 140 known cases. I am hoping that your early interventions will help. My daughter is a respiratory physician in New Zealand- definately at the front line, and given the fact that 20% of Italian front line health care workers became infected, I really appreciate anyone who helps to keep my daughter safe. Understandably, she has some anxiety as to what is happening in New Zealand as you only have 150 intensive care beds.  ( compared with the UK 5000), I think my daughter says this is equivalent to half of the number per head of population as the UK, and we have today located another 1200 ventilators in the private sector. 

It is up to everyone to help keep the risks as small as possible. 

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