Introduction: Amidst the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the profound connection between the virus and cardiovascular health has come to the forefront. Prof. Dr. Ali Oto from the Cardiology Department at Memorial Ankara Hospital provides valuable insights into the effects of Covid-19 on heart diseases and shares essential preventive measures during the “Heart Health Week” from April 12 to 18.
Understanding the Link:
- Weakened Immunity and Increased Susceptibility: While heart diseases alone may not elevate the risk of contracting Covid-19, individuals with severe heart conditions, such as heart failure or diabetes, face a higher likelihood due to compromised immune systems.
- A Third of Covid-19 Deaths Linked to Heart Issues: Contrary to popular belief, a significant portion of Covid-19-related deaths—approximately one-third—stem from heart-related complications, often resulting from severe arrhythmias or substantial heart damage.
- Enhanced Risk of Blood Clotting and Heart Attacks: Covid-19’s widespread impact on the inner lining of blood vessels can lead to clotting issues, increasing the risk of heart attacks. Understanding this vascular involvement is crucial in assessing potential cardiovascular complications.
- Aggravation of Existing Heart Conditions: Covid-19 not only poses a direct threat but can exacerbate pre-existing heart conditions. Individuals with mild coronary issues may experience plaque rupture, leading to heart attacks, while other organs may also face various vascular complications.
- Myocarditis: Inflammation of the Heart Muscle: The virus’s ability to affect the heart muscle directly can result in myocarditis, a condition where inflammation occurs. In some cases, this can lead to severe damage and, in the long term, contribute to a condition known as cardiomyopathy.
Post-Covid Challenges and Future Outlook:
- Potential Long-Term Effects on Heart Function: Survivors of Covid-19, especially those who experienced myocarditis, may face challenges in the future. The possibility of developing cardiomyopathy, leading to heart failure, is a concern that requires continued monitoring.
- Diminished Contractile Power of the Heart: Evidence suggests that even in young individuals with mild symptoms, Covid-19 can leave traces on the heart and lungs. The post-Covid period may see a decline in the heart’s contractile power, emphasizing the importance of post-recovery care.
Medication Adherence and Covid-19 Treatment:
- Continued Use of Heart and Hypertension Medications: Prof. Dr. Ali Oto emphasizes the critical importance of maintaining prescribed medications for heart conditions and hypertension during and after a Covid-19 infection. Studies indicate that these medications do not increase the risk of Covid-19; in fact, they may be beneficial.
- No Fear in Using Covid-19 Medications: Despite public debates, medications recommended for Covid-19 treatment, when administered under medical supervision, pose no adverse effects. Patients are encouraged to follow their doctor’s advice and adhere to a regular medication schedule.
- Caution with Mutated Strains: Post-recovery vigilance is crucial, especially with the emergence of mutated strains. Adherence to preventive measures is essential, considering the possibility of reinfection and uncertainties regarding the duration of immunity.
- Addressing Obesity as a Public Health Concern: The pandemic has led to a surge in sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy eating habits, contributing to widespread obesity. Prof. Dr. Ali Oto highlights the importance of prioritizing healthy eating and maintaining physical activity during home confinement periods.
Conclusion: In navigating the complex intersection of Covid-19 and heart health, Prof. Dr. Ali Oto underscores the significance of proactive measures, continued medical care, and a holistic approach to well-being.
Tags: heart health, Covid-19, cardiovascular complications, medication adherence, preventive measures
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