Cardiovascular Disease and COVID-19 – What is the Link?
Coronavirus is a huge health risk for people of all ages – therefore, there is no excuse for anyone. However, considering the death rate and the number of people succumbing to the virus, coronavirus poses a high risk to people who are above 60 years and also to those of any age with the following underlying conditions including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, heart failure, chronic respiratory syndrome, diabetes, asthma, pneumonia, kidney disease, immunodeficiency disease and cancer – patients who are receiving chemotherapy, patients with lymphoma, concomitant leukaemia, patients receiving radiation therapy. Immunosuppressed transplant patients are also at risk.
As we know that coronavirus infection can be caught by anyone, but people with underlying heart problems might be at a risk of getting more severe infection than others. People who are weak, frail, the elderly and older women, pregnant women with concomitant heart disease are also at risk of severe infection.
In addition, the other category of people who are at increased risk of severe coronavirus disease include individuals with dilated cardiomyopathy, heart failure and other heart conditions like congenital cyanotic heart disease, arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy and individuals with obstructive form of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
So far there is no confirmed evidence that suggests that people with cardioverter-defibrillators and pacemakers devices have their devices infected by coronavirus.
If you are above age 60 and have any of the above health conditions irrespective of your age, then you must follow the following recommendations to avoid infection:
- Follow all the instructions of your doctor, hospital or any local health authority of your area.
- As much as possible, stay at home. Get yourself confined to your home.
- Don’t allow any of your relative to see you. It is better to remain isolated in your room.
- Keep a distance of at least one metre with whoever you meet in your home.
- If someone has cold or flu like symptoms in your home, ask them to go quarantine.
- Follow your doctor’s advice and take medicines according to prescription
and directions given by your doctor.
- Ensure that you have at least a month supply of all your medicines.
- Ensure personal hygiene all the time – especially hand and respiratory hygiene.
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water (for at least 35 seconds). Keep a hand sanitizer at your disposal.
Prolong stay at home can make you feel lethargic, sluggish and weak. This will weaken your immune system. You can protect your mental and physical health and strengthen your immune system by maintaining a healthy routine and prioritizing tasks. In this way you can look after yourself better.
When you are in self-quarantine, you may start adopting unhealthy eating habits and begin feeling stressed and exhausted. However, you can still remain healthy if you follow your daily routine and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
How to take care of your heart while at home
When to take Medical Help?
The first and foremost thing is to stop smoking – if you smoke, or else, it will endanger your life.
- Don’t get bogged down at home in isolation – instead get connected with
all your family members, relatives and friends through social networks.
- Don’t get excessively involved in the news pertaining to the outbreak – limit the information you read, hear or see. Ensure to get the information only from reliable sources.
- If you are unable to manage your boredom – never take the support of drugs and alcohol to cope up with your situation.
- Get yourself busy with some activity and take intermittent breaks throughout the day.
- Stand up, walk and jog and relax in between.
- Involve in routine activities according to a set time table and plan – take time to meditate and relax, do exercise, eat a balanced diet, get adequate sleep and stay hydrated.
Take care of your health – don’t be complacent; even if you notice a slight bit of change in your state of well-being, take action immediately. If you experience symptoms (fever – mild or high; cough, tightness in chest or shortness of breath), call your doctor or immediately go to a hospital. When you call them, inform them that you are calling in regard to your health – about the risk of COVID-19 you may have owing to your health condition.