Heart diseases are the main individual cause of disease burden in India and it contributes significantly in total deaths. Heart disease contributes nearly 18 per cent of total deaths in India. Elderly heart patients currently under treatment are more susceptible to get COVID-19 infection or patients who have already affected with covid-19 should know about post-covid-19 care. Expert Dr Nitin Patki, Consultant-Cardiologist from Jupiter Hospital, Pune threw some light on the heart problems and post covid-19 care needs.
Elderly who have pre-existing heart diseases need to extra careful in terms of protection, medications, and consultation with their doctors. Social distancing, practising personal hygiene, wearing masks, self-isolation if symptoms appear in any of family member as well, maintaining physical & mental health, practising yoga & medication, keep hydrated, balanced diet and immunity boosters are general measures they need to follow.
Amid COVID-19, elderly, with pre-existing heart problems, need not delay tests and treatment if they feel any progression. Hence, they can go for clinical examination along with an investigation that includes Chest X-ray, ECG and Echo. Elderly heart patients should schedule online consultations with the cardiologist and minimize hospital visits whenever possible.
The most important is elderly should not miss their ongoing medications.
Those who have undergone Advanced Surgical Procedures such as heart transplant, Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) and Total Artificial Heart (TAH) need to even more cautious in terms of protection and monitoring their condition regularly
For the Youth
According to the ICMR State-Level Disease Burden Report, among all age groups, the prevalence of heart disease has increased by over 50% from 1990 to 2016 in India, with an increase observed in every state. Heart attack rates are increasing among adults in their 20s and 30s and it’s a worrying trend in India Changing lifestyle, food habits, high stress in urban areas, binge drinking and use of narcotics have increased the risk factors among youth. Amid COVID-19 these factors lead to severe problems risk factors for a heart attack include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, use of substance (narcotics), diabetes, poor diet, obesity, inactive lifestyle and excessive drinking. Youngsters should not undermine risk factors. They should go for a routine check-up and that will save them succumbing to the disease. Do not undermine the warning signs -Chest pain, breathiness, undue fatigue, acidity and lack of stamina, chest pressure, shortness-of-breath, cold sweats individually, asthma or even the side effects of an emotional outburst. And this can lead to tragic outcomes. Stop Smoking immediately and do regular exercise. Yoga & Meditation will help.
Even for the youth general precautions against COVID-19 infection is equally important.
Post covid-19 care:
The heart patients should take post-COVID Care by virtual home monitoring service offered by their doctor
For starters, do not expect to bounce back to your previous life as soon as you get back home or test negative for the disease. Work on your diet and take proper nutrition to re-build mind & muscle strength and get back to a normal routine
Whether it is a headache or breathlessness, it is important to pay attention to any warning signs that your body is giving.
Should continue their cardiac medicines. It is generally not necessary to change medicines just because of post-covid-19 status Recovery from covid takes time. Be patient with yourself In case cardiac symptoms then contact the hospital or treating cardiologist.
Dr Nitin Patki
Dr. Nitin Patki practices as Consultant - Cardiologist at Jupiter Hospital, Pune. He completed MBBS from Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College &Sasson General Hospital, Pune in 1984, MD - General Medicine from Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College & Sassoon General Hospital, Pune in 1988 and DM - Cardiology from Dr.Sampurnanand Medical College, Jodhpur in 1990.