For people with heart conditions, COIVD-19 is a real concern. Having any of the following heart conditions increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19:
· Heart failure
· Coronary artery disease
· Pulmonary hypertension
According to the CDC, other heart and vascular conditions such as high blood pressure or stroke, might increase your risk of severe illness from COVID-19 as well.
What You Should Do
“There are several things patients can do to maintain heart health in general and during the pandemic.” says Dr. James Warnock of Baptist Heart. “Start by taking your medicines exactly as prescribed and follow your physician’s recommendations for diet and exercise while maintaining social distancing precautions (avoid crowds and stay 6 feet away from people not in your household), washing your hands often and wearing a mask while in public.” Adults with any of the above conditions are highly encouraged to obtain the COVID-19 vaccination when available.
Other suggestions include:
· Continue angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I) or angiotensin-II receptor blockers (ARB) as prescribed by your physician for indications such as heart failure or high blood pressure.
· Make sure that you have at least a 30-day supply of your heart disease medicines, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure medicines.
· Do not delay life-saving treatment or emergency care. If you think you may be having a serious heart condition, go to your emergency department, or better yet, call 911.
For patients that have heart conditions that develop COVID there may be treatment options available that could reduce your risk of having a serious case. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and have mild to moderate symptoms, please call your health care provider or 855-733-8864 for a telehealth appointment. Or, you can schedule through MyChart app or baptistmedicalclinic.org.
Watch our Ask The Expert episodes with WLBT on Heart Health here: