It’s difficult to bump COVID off the front page but the death of two revered Australian cricketers did just that a few weeks ago.

Perhaps we were all so sick of the doom and gloom of lockdowns, closed borders and coffee prices tipped to hit $7 that we were all keen to relive the career highlights of the larger-than-life cricketing pair.

Even people who think cricket is as interesting as watching grass grow (yes, guilty) were happy to indulge the pages and pages of reminiscing and images of Warne looking every inch a celebrity.

But the fact that both Marsh and Warne died from suspected heart attacks also resonated.

It was a reminder that all our usual chronic health problems are still ticking over while the global focus is on one virus.

A headline about heart disease doesn’t have the same punch as one about the mounting COVID toll, but a 52-year-old sports star dying of a heart attack managed to push COVID off the start of news bulletins, at least for a few days.

It was a reminder that all our usual chronic health problems are still ticking over while the global focus is on one virus.”


And speculation that perhaps Warne’s earlier COVID infection might have played a role in his death, although unproven, has nevertheless added impetus to ongoing research into the long-term impact of COVID on the heart.

This month we look at some of these so-called long-tail effects, and not just in people with pre-existing risk factors.

And just to remind ourselves of the how far heart research and technology have come, we hear from a Perth cardiothoracic surgeon whose job involves saving hearts and lives.