World Heart Day: Severe Covid survivors face 2-3 times higher heart disease risk for a year, says AIIMS cardiologist
AIIMS cardiologist Dr Ambuj Roy says that people who have had severe Covid-19, face higher heart disease risk for at least one year.
Renowned AIIMS cardiologist Dr Ambuj Roy said that severe Covid-19 survivors face a greater risk of suffering from heart illnesses as compared to those who did not get the disease and should be more cautious about their health and monitor risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as high BP, diabetes, and cholesterol. (Also read: World Heart Day 2023: Sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, heart failure; what's the difference? Cardiologist explains)
"For people who have had severe Covid-19, their risk of heart ailments is higher by 2-3 times for at least one year. They need to exercise greater caution and ensure that they have their assessment done for risk factors for heart disease like diabetes, hypertension and bad cholesterol and make sure they are treated for the same if needed," said Dr. Ambuj Roy, Professor of Cardiology, AIIMS New Delhi, in an exclusive conversation with HT Digital.
Dr Roy says heart attacks in India are on rise due to multiple factors like poor diet, lack of exercise, tobacco use, uncontrolled high BP, stress and obesity.
"The high rate of heart attacks in India is due to a combination of factors. Poor dietary choices, insufficient physical activity, tobacco use, unmanaged hypertension, stress and obesity especially central obesity that is truncated fat. all these factors exacerbate the prevalence of heart attacks in the country," said the renowned cardiologist. (Also read: World Heart Day: 10 signs of an unhealthy heart you shouldn’t ignore)
"In India, lifestyle changes in the last decade have played a huge role in increasing the incidence of heart diseases among the population. For instance, smoking and usage of e-cigarettes has steadily increased among the youth, which poses a major risk to the heart. At the same time, India is touted as the diabetes capital of the world because of the massive disease burden. Further, South Asians are also genetically predisposed to heart diseases, which complicates matters further," said Dr Roy.
How to reduce risk of heart attack
Adopting a healthy lifestyle with special focus on green vegetables and fruits, regular exercise, saying no to smoking, managing stress and weight can go a long way in taking care of heart health.
"Reducing the risk of a heart attack involves adopting behaviours that mitigate the risk and addressing any existing risk factors for heart disease. Embracing a heart-healthy lifestyle, which includes balanced eating rich in greens and fruits, regular physical activity, smoking cessation, stress management, and weight maintenance, is key to heart disease prevention. These changes remain beneficial even if you already have coronary artery disease, as they can diminish the likelihood of a heart attack. Additionally, it's crucial to seek treatment for other health conditions that elevate heart attack risk," said Dr Ambuj Roy.