The Annals of Cardiology No.43 | 5 Things you should know about COVID-19
1. The better your heart health, the better your ability to withstand COVID-19
Persons with heart disease are especially vulnerable to contracting the novel coronavirus, and, when they do, they are at higher risk for a poor outcome. 25-50% of patients with COVID-19 have underlying medical conditions that adversely influence outcomes. In Wuhan, the case fatality rate was 6% in persons with hypertension, 7.3% in diabetics, and 10.5% in persons with established cardiovascular disease as opposed to 2.3% in the general cohort. Think of it like this: when a 20-year-old triathlete with no underlying medical conditions contracts an infection, chances are she’ll weather it. But, for the rest of us, every decade brings subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle organ malfunctions. Because these insufficiencies accumulate slowly, we accommodate. Still, by the time you’re 70 or 80, it doesn’t take much to upset the balance. That’s why, when Granny slips, she might end up with a broken hip, followed by pneumonia, followed by kidney failure, followed by heart failure, followed by – you get the picture. COVID-19 is the kind of viral storm that can be devastating for the frail and elderly.
We know that myocarditis – heart inflammation – and heart failure can occur with COVID-19. So, it makes sense that if your heart is already compromised in some way, any additional dysfunction may have serious consequences. What can you do? Stay healthy. Heart patients should take all their medications as usual. Make sure you’re up to date with influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations. Keep up your exercise routine, but not in the gym. If you exercise outside, remain at least 6 feet from others. Eat right and get enough sleep…
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