The impact COVID-19 has had on people with underlying health issues cannot be understated. While the media has primarily focused on COVID-19’s effect on underlying health issues and the importance of self-isolation, there has been little awareness raised towards the poor management of these conditions during quarantine. For Americans suffering from heart disease, the poor habits formed during quarantine can significantly affect their health and lead to severe complications soon.
Dr. Satjit Bhusri, M.D. FACC is a triple board-certified cardiologist and noteworthy medical professional hailing from New York City. A graduate from Cornell University and SUNY – Downstate College of Medicine, Dr. Bhusri has become well known in his field for his expertise in molecular oncology as well as his own personal experience with Cardiac Shock. Due to his own experiences with heart disease, Dr. Bhusri hopes to properly educate the public and his patients on the importance of heart health management.
Studies have shown a 27% increase in alcohol sales since the beginning of the pandemic. Many Americans are now excessively drinking alcohol to cope with the COVID-19 impact on their lives. However, for those dealing with heart complications, this is a worrisome habit. Excessively drinking alcohol can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, and even stroke. Additionally, excessive drinking can also contribute to cardiomyopathy, a heart condition that makes it difficult for the heart to deliver blood to the body and can lead to heart failure.
“We have seen an increase in patients experiencing high blood pressure since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many cases are due to stress and excessive drinking. It is essential that patients with heart disease appropriately manage their alcohol intake,” explained Dr. Bhusri.
In addition to heavy drinking, various studies have found a 32% reduction in physical activity since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the closing of gyms and increased national depression, many people are choosing less healthy activities such as watching tv and binge-eating.
“Due to the stress the pandemic has caused, many people have stopped their exercise routines and healthy diets. We strongly suggest to patients with heart conditions that they return to exercising daily and consuming healthy heart foods,” said Dr. Bhusri.
When it comes to preventing poor heart health during quarantine, Dr. Bhusri suggests:
• Keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum, no excessive drinking.
• At least thrifty minutes of exercise a day at an approved heart rate.
• Eating heart healthy foods such as whole grains, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.
• Manage stress and depression in non-destructive ways, such as seeking help from a therapist.
Dr. Satjit Bhusri is available to discuss the most common quarantine habits that impact heart health and what he recommends those with heart disease do to combat these issues.