Rise in heart diseases among people who had Covid-19: Doctors

Experts say the prevalence of heart-related problems among those below 50 years of age on the rise, recommend healthy diet, proper sleep and regular exercise

Published: 30th September 2022 05:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th September 2022 05:17 AM   |  A+A-

Heart, cardiac arrest

Image for representational purpose only. ( Express Illustration)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Covid-19 survivors often worry about the long-term impact of the virus on their lungs. However, experts suggest looking after the heart as well, considering that heart problems among those who have recovered from the infection have increased these days. “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.

A recent study published in the UK-based journal ‘Circulation’ found that people diagnosed with Covid-19 were 21 times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, increasing the risk of potentially lifethreatening blood clots. “Prior to the pandemic, patients suffering from lung diseases used to suffer with heart ailments as well.

However, the frequency of such cases increased among the younger population after Covid-19, which led the researchers to investigate aggressively,” he said. Though there is no such reliable population-based study available in India, he said that the cases must have increased in the country. “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) Hospi tal i n Sanathnagar.

‘Be wary, diabetics’

On the occasion of World Heart Day, cardiologists attributed the health of the heart to a healthy lifestyle. Seven hours of restorative sleep, physical activity, yoga and meditation, avoiding stress, alcohol consumption as well as smoking, and regular health checkups can prevent a minor issue from compounding unnecessarily, they added.

Certain healthcare establishments, including Apollo and AIG Hospitals, organised a free wellness screening programme. A total of 514 people (68 per cent male and 32 per cent female) were tested at AIG Hospitals for random blood glucose, haemoglobin, body mass index, body fat percentage, heart rate, and blood pressure among other things. Initial analysis of the screening data revealed that people suffering from diabetes have almost twice the risk of getting a cardiac disease than those without diabetes. It was shown that almost 24 per cent of people who were diabetic had higher risk factors compared to only nondiabetics where the percentage was around 11.



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