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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2020 May 12

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4725.20.05309-8


lingua: Inglese

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

Marianna MAZZA 1 , Giuseppe MARANO 1, Barbara ANTONAZZO 2, Elena CAVARRETTA 3, Marco DI NICOLA 1, Luigi JANIRI 1, Gabriele SANI 1, Giacomo FRATI 3, Enrico ROMAGNOLI 4

1 Institute of Psychiatry and Psychology, Department of Geriatrics, Neuroscience and Orthopedics, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy; 2 Division of Geriatrics, Israelite Hospital, Rome, Italy; 3 Department of Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University of Rome, Latina, Italy; 4 Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Sciences, Institute of Cardiology, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy


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.

KEY WORDS: Heart; Mind; COVID-19; Quarantine; Cardiovascular disease; Depression; Anxiety

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