As we see a growing rise in the number of COVID-19 patients in the second wave of the pandemic, everyone is understandably concerned about the risks of infection. However, while the virus primarily affects the respiratory functions of the body, it's important to remember that other underlying causes may make us more susceptible to disease. We need to look at holistic health, and a crucial part of that is to keep our heart health in check.
A study published by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information reports a 250% higher risk of severe to fatal COVID-19 infection among patients with hypertension, and another by Experimental Physiology shows that patients who have recovered from COVID-19 face long-term consequences on various aspects of their health.
Particularly, increased stiffness of the arteries was discovered in young adults, which is heavily implied to impact heart health. This discovery is also important to note for other demographics of the population who suffered a severe case of the disease.
Appalachian State University's researchers found that COVID-19 may have negative impacts on arteries throughout the body, including the carotid artery. The carotid artery is responsible for supplying the brain with oxygenated blood. Hence, any negative effect on this particular artery is a major cause for concern.
There has also been a high overlap between patients with symptoms of hypertension and COVID-19 patients.
Hypertension, commonly known as High Blood Pressure (HBP) is well-documented to be a "silent killer", damaging blood vessels and heart function until it becomes a serious problem. While there is no sure-fire cure for hypertension and its symptoms, a few changes to your lifestyle can greatly reduce your chances of succumbing to serious heart ailments and even reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.
Here are a few steps to keep your heart health and hypertension in check:
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased awareness of self-care and the need for keeping a check on one's health. Dealing with hypertension is a life-long commitment. It takes discipline, care and good habits to stay healthy, even more so in the midst of a global health crisis. It's important to keep the above mentioned steps in mind to stay healthy and reduce the risk of COVID infection as well.