Heart disease caused by stress and poor diet during the COVID-19 pandemic has killed more people than ever before. There has been a surge in heart attacks as the new provisional data by U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that the trend will continue for a longer period of time since there is a direct impact on cardiovascular health due to the effects of the pandemic. According to the cardiologist and chairman of the Public Health Collaboration, Aseem Malhotra, the impact of this pandemic has a similar phenomenon as the events after the war where the strokes and heart attacks increase among civilians after a struggling conflict. Despite having such an adverse effect on the population, Covid-19 is still only on the third spot while heart attack takes the leading spot as the cause of death in the USA. Directly or indirectly Covid-19 has taken a huge toll on the cardiovascular health of the general masses; so the question arises how Covid-19 contributed to such a phenomenon. Let’s study the factors in detail.
- Lifestyle and Stress:
Quarantine had changed the lifestyle of almost everyone. During these extended periods, most people were not able to follow their general routines. People were not allowed to go out so they could not go to Gyms, Parks or Yoga Centers resulting in a lack of physical activities and regular exercise. There were instances of increased alcohol consumption, lower quality diets, irregularity in sleep schedule and poor eating habits that resulted in elevated risk for heart and lifestyle diseases. Not to mention people had to suffer through mental stress as most people went through complete social isolation. These factors contributed to the increased stroke risks and heart diseases.
- Hospital Fear:
According to the several reports proposed by the Hospitals including Yale-New Haven Health and American Heart Association indicates that there have been fewer visits of patients in case of strokes and heart attacks. It was identified that patients were avoiding hospitals and choose not to seek medical care from hospitals due to fear of contracting COVID-19. Many deaths could have been avoided if patients had received proper medical advice from doctors. Many patients postponed their regular visits to the doctors for conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol, hypertension, coronary heart disease resulting in the increased risk of stroke and heart attack. Some doctors argue that patients were trying to follow the protocols by staying at home and only seeking advice during an emergency; however, the symptoms of stroke and heart attack are evident and are not something that should have been taken lightly.
The research on the impact of the Corona Virus is still ongoing however it is evident that patients with pre-existing conditions of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure are more prone to getting affected by the corona virus and are at increased risk for complications including prolonged hospitalization and in the worst-case scenario, death. The situation has worsened as the corona virus patients are increasing again due to the action of Delta variant. To save patients from these severe complications Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are constantly spreading the message among patients to watch their diet and involve in more physical activities to save themselves from heart problems. In case of heart disease symptoms, seek medical advice as soon as possible to avoid further complications.
Following the trend of Covid-19, it is evident how crucial it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In these difficult times, people need to stay in touch with their family and friends and avoid stress as much as possible to save themselves from unnecessary chronic ailments. A sustained healthy diet including fruits and vegetables, adequate sleep and exercise, and prohibition of smoking and drinking is enough to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.