Covid-19 pandemic has not just affected our immune system but all other vital organs including the heart and liver. The nightmare called Covid-19 is pretty adamant to follow us to our graveyards as our hearts are also now vulnerable to the lingering effects of the virus.
Covid-19 has escalated the occurrence of heart attacks and other diseases associated with it. Prof. Rajesh Vijayvergiya from the Cardiology Department, PGI, explained that the infection has adverse effects on the heart by decreasing its pump capacity and thus causing acute blockage of coronary arteries.
“Due to the pandemic, there was a surge in cardiac risk factors such as smoking, increased body weight, physical and mental stress, and discontinuation of cardiac drugs, which leads to increase in heart attacks, says Vijayvergiya.
Steps to prevent Cardiac Arrest
- One should start looking for the symptoms at the age of 2
- Smoking, alcohol, diet status, and physical activity should be taken into consideration
- Every two years, the blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), and pulse must be checked.
- A routine checkup of the fasting serum cholesterol and blood glucose levels must be conducted every five years.
- Healthy individuals over the age of 40 should be measured for heart disease.
Incorporation of a healthy and balanced lifestyle can avert the risk of heart diseases and other chronic diseases. According to Professor Vijayvergiya, it can be diminished significantly through:
- Regular physical activity
- Cutting down on salt in take
- 7 hours of proper sleep
- Practice yoga and meditation
- Lower psychological stress
Even though today’s youth claim to have a strict diet of low calories along with hitting the gym, other risk factors such as smoking, excessive mental stress, and a family history of heart disease are also responsible for heart attacks and death.
Dr Dani said, “Based on what we have observed, people who had pre-existing coronary artery diseases have more complications with Covid-19… more heart failures, more heart attacks and rapid progress of blockages.”
Those who survived Covid-19 are more concerned with the long-term impact on the lungs. Medical experts often suggest looking after the heart as well.
This is mainly because there has been a spike in the rate of heart disease among those who have revived from Covid-19.
“A surge in heart-related problems, especially in the younger population (people below 50 years of age) who recovered from Covid-19 infection, has been observed by the doctors in last few months,” said Dr Atri Gangopadhyay, a pulmonologist and national spokesperson of the Chest Council of India.
“Circulation”, a UK-based journal, has found that there is a 21 times higher chance of getting a heart attack or stroke for those who were diagnosed with Covid-19. There is also a likelihood of life-threatening blood clots being formed in the body.
Even before the pandemic, people used to suffer from both lung and heart diseases. However, the situation got worse after Covid-19, as more such cases were reported among the younger generation as an after effect of the virus.
“I have seen an increasing number of deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) and pulmonary embolism cases in long Covid cases in my practice. The cases must have increased by approximately five to six times. There is a rise in heart attack and stroke cases as well,” said Surender Reddy, a professor in the Pulmonology Department at the Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Hospital.
In most European countries, about 67-93 per cent of patients are diagnosed with heart attacks. And it is observed that they start working within three months. But, around 24 per cent of them quit mid-way for various reasons.
The survivors of Covid-19 might also get a CVD, diabetes, and even high cholesterol.
Covid-19 has now become a part of our lives and we must learn to live with it in a less disruptive way possible. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, we can prevent any sort of infection or disease in the future.