Burden of heart disease may rise many fold in coming months: Expert

Lockdown induced sedentary lifestyle has given rise to increase in diabetes, hypertension , smoking and stress leading to increased risk of CVDs. Decline in preventive health checks and post-Covid cardiac complications are expected to increase the case load

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New Delhi: In comparison to the pre-pandemic times,  we have observed a sharp decline in the number of patients visiting the OPD for the preventive health check-ups, says Dr Mukesh Goel, Senior Consultant Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals.
He explains: “These include patients who were suffering from cardiac ailments prior to the pandemic, who are now not regular with their required health check-ups. With the pandemic induced sedentary lifestyle and hesitancy of visiting the OPDs, we can expect a sudden upsurge in the number of people developing heart related problems. As, amidst the lockdown, various people have either developed or are now facing complications like stress, obesity, hypertension and diabetes. Changed sleeping and eating patterns can be majorly held responsible for the same. These habits have also heighted the risk of CVDs in people with compromised immunity.”
With the pandemic being a constant since past one year, there is a significant shift in the priority of various health factors by the people. Covid-19 being spread by air route, it forced people to be more cautious in regard to respiratory health and stay indoors. Hence, the focus from the other prevailing, serious health ailments got shifted and there is a significant decline in the preventive health checks, leading to an expected rise in the cases related to cardiac complications. Heart health, if ignored, can cause various serious complications, as Cardio Vascular Diseases account for the largest mortality rate globally.
With the pandemic enforced lockdowns, and sedentary lifestyle, there is an emergence of various new cases of CVDs. Changed sleeping and eating patterns amidst the lockdown have made people more prone towards developing the risks of CVDs, as obesity, diabetes and hypertension have a direct link with the heart health. Another important factor that can’t go unmissed is the pandemic infused hesitancy to visit for health check-ups.  The fear of catching the virus kept various people away from visiting for regular health check-ups and as a reason patients who were already suffering from the heart related problems are now visiting the doctors with increased complications.
The expected increase in the number of patients with heart related complications is getting evident day by day, as the number of consultations for post Covid cardiac complications like myocarditis are gradually increasing. People in their post Covid recovery are facing such complications due to the inflammation and damage caused by the virus in the body, and such damage becomes easier if any part of the body is slightly unhealthy. Hence, preventive health check-ups are indeed necessary.
Expert advise that patients must not miss their pre-scheduled visit to the doctors and take timely preventive health measures, to catch any approaching severe health ailment in time. Not to forget, a balanced diet, adequate sleep and regular physical exercise.
Heart health has a co-relation with obesity, hypertension, stress and diabetes. Not following a healthy regime and neglecting preventive health check-ups should be avoided. The hidden risks of Cardio Vascular Diseases can be really serious. Hence, living an active lifestyle with healthy heart measures should be actively pursued.