As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic evolves, scientists are learning more about the virus and the way it affects us. From almost the start, doctors have recognized that older adults and other people with existing medical conditions — including heart condition — are at higher risk from the new coronavirus.
For the tens of many U.S. adults with heart condition, that warning raises tons of questions.
“We’re learning tons about this disease a day,” says cardiologist Paul Cremer, MD. “That creates uncertainty for patients and for healthcare providers, but we will make recommendations supported the simplest information we’ve thus far.”
COVID-19 and therefore the heart
The new coronavirus may be a respiratory illness, meaning it mostly affects the lungs. But when the lungs aren’t performing at full steam, the guts have got to work harder to pump oxygen-rich blood round the body. That added stress is often dangerous for people with heart condition.
COVID-19 poses a greater risk to people that have underlying conditions, including:
- Coronary heart condition.
- High vital sign.
- Previous stroke.
People in those groups could also be at higher risk of catching COVID-19. They’re also more likely to develop severe symptoms if they get sick.
Older adults with heart condition could also be particularly vulnerable. But if you’ve got heart condition at any age, you ought to remember of the possible risks from COVID-19. “There’s tons we don’t know yet. But it’s reasonable to assume that anyone with heart condition, including younger patients, is additionally at higher risk,” Dr. Cremer says.
Coronavirus prevention for heart patients.
Being at increased risk doesn’t mean you’re destined to urge the disease — or that you simply will develop a significant case if you are doing catch it. But as was common, prevention is that the best medicine.
“To reduce the chances of catching COVID-19, follow recommendations by the CDC, the WHO, and your local, state and federal governments,” Dr. Cremer says.
That means following best practices:
- Wash hands often using soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. If you can’t get to a sink, use hand sanitizer that’s a minimum of 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces you touch tons, like doorknobs, light switches, phones and keyboards (to name a few).
- Stay home (especially if your community has advised residents to shelter in place).
- Practice social distancing. Aim to stay 6 feet between you and people if you are doing need to leave within the community.
- Stock up on refills of your prescription medications.
What you’ve got to must you”> do you have to do if you think that you have coronavirus?
If you develop possible COVID-19 symptoms like a cough and fever, here’s what you ought to (and shouldn’t) do next, Dr. Cremer says:
Do: Call your doctor to debate next steps.
Different locales have different recommendations about who should be tested or hospitalized. Your doctor can advise you about what to try to to and where to travel.
Don’t: Stop taking any of your prescription medications without chatting with a doctor.
Some reports have suggested that certain heart medications might make it easier for the virus to multiply. But thus far, there’s no evidence of that taking place in human patients. Doctors aren’t recommending that patients make changes to their heart condition or high vital sign medications, Dr. Cremer says.
“We don’t yet skills medications might affect the virus, but we do realize it are often harmful if you stop taking the medications you employ to regulate vital sign, cholesterol, heart condition or diabetes,” he says.
Protecting your heart during the pandemic.
One of the most important risks to heart condition patients from coronavirus has nothing to try to to with being infected, Dr. Cremer adds: “I worry that some patients won’t hunt down the urgent care or emergency treatment they have.”
Some people that experience heart symptoms could be reluctant to travel to a clinic or ER during an epidemic. But you shouldn’t ignore signs of cardiac emergencies. Heart attacks, dissections, coronary failure and arrhythmias are still occurring. And early treatment for heart problems can save your life. “If you’ve got any concerning heart symptoms, please hunt down care,” he says.
Dr. Cremer advises seeking treatment or reaching bent your doctor if you’ve got any new symptoms, including:
- Chest pain or discomfort.
- Trouble breathing.
- Loss of taste and smell.
- Sore throat.
- Muscle pain.
Maintain heart health for the longer term.
Let’s be honest: During a worldwide pandemic, it is often hard to stay to your usual routines. But maintaining a heart-healthy diet and exercise habits is as important as ever, Dr. Cremer says.
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobics every week — about 20 to half-hour, five to seven days every week.
“We need to be particularly cautious now in terms of social distancing, but it’s essential to urge physical activity. Getting out for a walk is sweet for overall health, and also for our psychological state as we’re handling this,” Dr. Cremer says.
While the pandemic won’t last forever, you would like your heart for the end of the day, he adds. “We’re getting to get through this, so we shouldn’t lose sight of our long-term health.”