Home Spotlight Screening after COVID recovery advised every six months for better heart health

Screening after COVID recovery advised every six months for better heart health

Patients are advised to go through screening after COVID recovery every six months as they may experience symptoms for a long time. The checking must be done to avoid heart health complications.

September 24, 2021: Despite the fact that scientists and doctors continue to learn more about the novel coronavirus, many elements of the virus and the disease it causes are still unknown. Recently, a screening after COVID recovery was recommended for patients for better health over time.

Screening after COVID recovery is recommended every 6 months

Dr TS Kler, Chairman, Fortis Heart & Vascular Institute, Gurugram & Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, told IANS that almost 75-80% of COVID patients don’t need to be admitted to the hospital and can heal at home with teleconsultation, although COVID-19 infections can have long-term consequences. COVID-19 symptoms have been known to last for several months in certain cases. Further explaining the long-term effects of COVID, Dr Kler wrote, “aside from lung damage, the virus can also cause immediate myocardial injury and long-term cardiovascular disease.”

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Image: Twitter

People who have a history of heart disease should be extra cautious. During the recuperation phase, a large proportion of patients have experienced cardiac arrest, which often results in death. Experts believe that even when the COVID virus fades, the immune response remains hyperactive, which frequently attacks other organs. Nearly 80% of these patients experienced cardiac arrests within 2-3 weeks of testing positive for COVID.

Screening after COVID recovery to avoid cardiovascular diseases

According to a study published in the European Heart Journal, COVID-19 patients who experience cardiac arrest have a higher risk of dying than those who do not have the virus, and women are at a higher risk of mortality for the same reason. Within the myocardial tissue, the virus may directly penetrate the ACE2 receptor cells and induce viral damage. COVID can cause myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscles that can lead to heart failure over time if not treated.

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Image: Twitter

According to Dr Kler, a patient may also show symptoms of a condition called POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) but the link between the development of POTS and COVID is yet to be established.

POTS, on the other hand, is a neurologic condition that is not directly connected with the heart. It affects the neurological system and can cause problems with heart rhythm and blood flow. Patients should look out for symptoms of rapid or irregular heart rhythm to avoid complications.

The syndrome can also cause rapid heartbeats while standing up. Some of the symptoms of a rapid or irregular heart rhythm may include:

  • Feeling of a rapid or irregular heartbeat in the chest (palpitations)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy, especially upon standing
  • Brain fog
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid ups and downs in the pulse rate

Also read: As India braces for Covid-19 third wave, must-haves to stay well in festive season

Why is the screening necessary?

Several cases of cardiac arrest following COVID recovery have highlighted the significance of regular heart health monitoring. According to doctors, in high-risk patients with pre-existing diseases including diabetes and hypertension, cardiac tests such as ECG, X-Ray Chest, and lipid profile should be done every six months to determine whether the heart has been damaged.

Aside from regular monitoring, post-COVID patients must follow a healthy diet that includes all vital nutrients and excludes spicy, oily, canned, artificial sweeteners, and processed flavours, as well as junk food. Physical activity, as well as a reduction in drinking and smoking, must be prioritised. Even the tiniest of symptoms should be considered, and an expert doctor should be consulted as soon as possible.

By: Aankur Pradhan

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