How COVID-19 can affect your heart health

On Wear Red Day, local experts weigh in on the pandemic's effect on heart health.
COVID can affect heart health - VJO.jpg
Posted at 6:20 PM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-05 19:21:37-05

LAFAYETTE, La. — The pandemic has caused habits to change including most people working from home, and this sedentary lifestyle could affect your heart health.

Every 36 seconds, a person dies in the United States from cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association.

Studies show the COVID-19 virus increases the chances of heart failure.

“COVID has increased the cardiovascular events," said Dr. Deedra Harrington. "Whether it be heart attack, whether it be congested heart failure, ischemic cardiovascular diseases.”

During a time when hospitals are saturated with COVID-19 patients, doctors might have to make a tough decision when taking care of virus patients with heart disease.

Additionally, some people might be afraid to go to the hospital.

“It’s a scary world, a lot of people are scared to come in," said Dr. Kian Eshan. "Which I totally understand, I don’t blame anybody, but they can't ignore symptoms.”

Alcohol intake has also increased during the pandemic.

"Also, if those individuals are smoking, really going towards smoking cessation,” said Harrington.

Harrington says it is important to stay up to date with blood work, be active and eat a healthy diet.

“Just following up with your primary physician, or if you have a primary cardiologist, make sure you follow those routine visits, controlling blood pressure, knowing your risk factors is the big thing," said Harrington.

Risk factors include a family history of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, a sedentary lifestyle or having high cholesterol.

Heart disease is the number one killer for women in the United States.

“Women tend to focus more on the external… so mammograms, and weight...," said Harrington. "But forget about the inside, the cardiovascular system, which is your whole body and your whole system.”

Eshan says being educated about heart health is one of the best tools to prevent heart disease.

“I think awareness is the biggest thing," said Eshan. "It all starts with education. If we educate one another, we can save a lot of lives.”

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