‘They are likely to have a more severe infection than others’
Heart patients need to be extra cautious during the pandemic time. While anyone can catch the COVID-19 infection, people with underlying heart conditions are likely to have a more severe infection than others, says N.V. Gourisankar Reddy, interventional cardiologist, KIMS ICON Hospital.
“There are complaints that the viral infection could cause rupture of atherosclerotic plaques (fatty deposits) in the coronary arteries, leading to acute coronary syndromes (heart attack). Individuals who experience severe chest discomfort, during symptoms of coronavirus, should call the health care advice team immediately. Severe systemic inflammatory conditions may aggravate arrhythmias or even trigger atrial fibrillation in some individuals,” he says on the eve of World Heart Day on Tuesday.
People with heart ailments should avoid sick persons, keep two-metres distance from other individuals, whenever possible. A diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruit is generally recommended at all times and not just during COVID-19 to help the body maintain a working immune system. Fresh vegetables and fruits contain a much broader range of necessary nutrients than vitamin pills. Therefore, it is always better to eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit than trying to compensate with formulated nutrients. When taking formulated vitamins, please make sure your intake does not exceed the recommended daily dosage. Some vitamins might cause harm, if taken in too high doses, and some supplements could interact negatively with your heart medicines, he said.
Dr. Reddy says that heart patients should continue their medications and if in doubt, one has to contact a doctor or nurse but the patients should not change the dosage on their own. Regular exercise, control of blood pressure and diabetes, managing stress and good sleep were some of the other lifestyle changes which heart patients should adopt, he said.
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