80-90% of patients with Covid likely to have underlying heart damage: Experts

Heart & Lungs are affected in COVID recovered patients as part of post COVID syndrome as 15-30% of patients are affected by it

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New Delhi:  As the progression of COVID doesn’t seem to cease, deaths due to heart disease have increased significantly. Research also shows that there is still a lot to learn about lasting heart effects on people who have had COVID-19. In some cases, patients are left with signs of heart damage that may call for continued monitoring.
Speaking during Health4All Online Episode-15, Dr (Prof) Mohit Gupta, Professor Cardiology, GB Pant Hospital, New Delhi said, “All the patients who have suffered from moderate to severe COVID, 80% to 90% of them have underlying heart damage. Heart and Lungs are affected in COVID recovered patients as part of post COVID syndrome as 15-30% of patients are affected by it. Myocardial and heart failure have been significantly high during this period. Myocarditis, also known as viral heart disease, is a condition in which the heart muscle becomes inflamed.”
Dr Gupta added, “If we want to protect our heart, we need to balance three things – Diet, Exercise and Rest. A good diet is not only important for physical health but also mental health. A good diet for mental health is a positive thought.”
In the keynote address on ‘Journey of heartcare in India’ during Health4All Online Episode-15, Dr Purshotam Lal, Interventional Cardiologist, Chairman, Metro Group of Hospitals, Padma Vibhushan Awardee, said, “There are two methods of surgical treatments when arteries of the heart are blocked – angioplasty and bypass surgery. However, it depends upon the various conditions of the patient. If all the three arteries of a young patient aged 40-45 are blocked, I would prefer multiple vessels coronary angioplasty; likewise, if the patient is over 60 years of age, I would prefer Coronary artery bypass surgery. To stay heart-healthy, it is imperative to maintain an ideal weight, burn calories, do exercise, and avoid smoking. And do yoga to bust the stress. During COVID times, regular heart check-ups are essential because the cases of cardiac arrest has increased significantly.”
Data scientist and technology expert trying to bring together digital wellness through technology, Dr Satyender Goel, Founder, India Health Links, elaborating on how to eliminate stress as it is directly associated with cardiac illnesses during Health4All Online Episode-15, said, “Over 50% people in India are hypertensive, stressed and prone to cardiac diseases. Here technology can be used to educate on how most of the diseases can be prevented by access to basic healthcare education based on vital information. Preventive care plays a pivotal role in keeping one healthy, and digital technology aids to it.”
Throwing light on the effects of stress on the heart during Health4All Online Episode-15, Dr H S Bedi, Director Cardiovascular & Thoracis Sciences, Ivy Hospital, Mohali, Punjab, said, “One of the leading causes of the incidence of heart disease amongst youngsters is stress. The youngsters have a good lifestyle, but they are constantly given targets whether they are working in the field of medicine or software. If this is not taken into account, the next generation will probably be the first generation of mankind having a shorter lifespan.”
“One of the studies published a couple of days ago in the Journal of American Heart and a study from Norway reveals that asymptomatic cardiac patients had COVID. For cardiac patients ECG is a must; however, it is not available to the common man. Hence, we have to reach out to the common man.”
Speaking during Health4All Online Episode-15, Dr (Prof) Shekhar Kashyap, Former HoD, Cardiology, Research & Referral Hospital, New Delhi said, “COVID is a systemic illness as it affects almost all the organs. Two-thirds of COVID patients are going through metabolic syndrome and this is a dietary problem. Persons going through metabolic syndrome are either obese, hypertensive or have high blood sugar. Use a plant-based diet, take good hydration, and avoid oils in the diet. These people are vulnerable to being infected with COVID. The metabolic syndrome has reached the children also and this is due to the dietary discrepancy. Therefore, having a good diet with less carbohydrate, starch and fat are essential to staying healthy. It is also important to avoid overcooking as it takes away the nutritional value of foods. Ultra-processed foods are the real culprit, and carbohydrates devoid of fibres are harmful to health.”
Elaborating on the reasons for heart attack and its preventive measures during Health4All Online Episode-15, Dr Mohammed Sadiq Azam, Consultant Cardiology, KIMS Hospital, Hyderabad said, “If you encounter with any chest discomfort or chest sweating, go and get your ECG done as it is probably going to be the life-saver. The ECG report will help you prevent your heart attack.”