(WYTV) – It’s no secret that we’re living in stressful times. New research says ongoing stress from COVID-19 could be leading to more heart disease and what’s known as “broken heart syndrome.” Luckily, health experts have many ways you can reduce your stress.
The last five months have taken a toll on all of us: mind, body and spirit — doctors are noticing.
“We’re seeing an uptick in stress cardiomyopathy cases. These patients can present like they are having a heart attack,” said Dr. Ankur Kalra, with the Cleveland Clinic.
A new study just released by the Cleveland Clinic connects the rise of broken heart syndrome — a potentially deadly illness — to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cases have doubled.
“Clearly, the pandemic is a stressful situation, not because of the pandemic itself, not because of the viral illness or the affliction itself, but also because of everything that comes with it,” Dr. Kalra said.
Doctors reveal that physical distancing can, in fact, lead to increased stress. That, combined with the fear of the potential loss of loved ones and lost or shrinking income, for some, can be too much to handle, especially for your heart.
Doctors and health advocates are urging us to think about self care.
“You train the body, you master the mind and you enrich the spirit,” Dr. Kalra said.
“Taking that time to get out and exercise, you know, getting creative with those things, taking time to meditate and really just focus on what we can control,” said Tracy Behnke, with the American Heart Association.
The American Heart Association of Youngstown is echoing that message, encouraging all of us to take the time to focus on ourselves.
“It’s a great time to reset our health. There’s no reason to wait ’til the new year. There’s no better time like today to just start making those healthy choices,” Behnke said.
Doctors also want to make sure you’re not ignoring symptoms like shortness of breath or chest pain. Hospitals are taking strict precautions to protect patients from the coronavirus.
They ask you to seek medical care immediately for heart symptoms and any other emergency.