There is a sharp rise in incidences of heart-related issues in recovered Covid patients aged 30-50 years, owing to long-term cardiac problems including breathing difficulty, chest pain, sudden onset palpitation,(arrhythmias, abnormalities of heartbeat), heart attacks, heart failure (low pumping capacity), indicated experts.
Due to the increase in inflammation and blood clotting tendencies post-Covid, heart patients faced problems after Covid infection, their cardiac status worsening due to irregular follow up and neglect toward cardiac issues, mentioned Dr Pramod Narkhede, Cardiologist, Apollo Clinic, Pune.
Dr Pramod Narkhede, cardiologist, Apollo Clinic, Pune, explained, “After getting infected with coronavirus, patients belonging to the age group of 30-50 years face breathlessness due to pneumonia and lung infection and missed out cardiac issues masked by the cough and breathlessness. Post-Covid, marked increase in acute cardiac issues were seen in previously healthy individuals too..the viral syndrome can range from the occurrence of systemic hypertension (blood pressure), minor palpitation, to serious life-threatening arrhythmias, heart attacks, heart failures, acute pulmonary embolism, and other vascular events like peripheral arterio-venous occlusion and stroke.”
A 45-year-old COVID-19 patient, for instance, developed chest pain and shortness of breath. His ECG showed changes in his heart rate. He had stopped taking aspirin. His echocardiography revealed compromised heart function. He was taken up immediately for coronary intervention which revealed “100 per cent thrombotic occlusion of one artery and 90 per cent thrombotic stenosis of another major coronary artery”. He underwent angioplasty immediately successfully on both the arteries and was stabilised in ICU after two days of the procedure. He was discharged with advice of regular follow-up thereafter. There are many patients like him who are witnessing cardiac issues post-Covid, suggested Dr Narkhede.
Doctors recommend frequent regular cardiac screening in the post-Covid period to spot the onset of any new abnormality in the heart function at the earliest.
What to keep in mind?
Once you spot signs like dizziness, light-headedness, sudden palpitation, hypertension, vomiting, sweating, and shortness of breath, chest pain, immediately consult the doctor.
Early diagnosis and prompt treatment will help these patients lead a good quality of life, decreasing morbidity and mortality. “To take care of your heart, eat a diet high in fibre and protein. (Try to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and pulses.) Do not eat spicy, oily, processed, or junk food. Manage your hypertension and cholesterol by regular monitoring. Exercise every day, maintain an optimum weight, avoid alcohol and smoking,” said Dr Prerna Agarwal, technical operations, Apollo Diagnostics.