As heart attack cases among young individuals surge, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has issued advice for severe Covid survivors, emphasizing the importance of avoiding strenuous exercises or overwork.
Recent instances of heart attacks, even among adolescents, have raised concerns, particularly following the tragic events during Garba celebrations in Gujarat. Citing research from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Mansukh Mandaviya has urged individuals who have recovered from severe Covid-19 to refrain from overexertion or intense physical activities for a year or two. The rationale behind this advice is that Covid-19 can weaken the heart and lungs, and excessive exertion can strain these vital organs, potentially increasing the risk of complications, including blood clots.
Several factors contribute to the need for caution among severe Covid survivors, as explained by health experts:
- Weakened Heart and Lungs: Covid-19 can damage the heart and lung muscles, hindering the body’s ability to supply oxygen to tissues. Overexertion may exacerbate these issues and hinder recovery.
- Fatigue and Muscle Weakness: The virus can induce fatigue and muscle weakness, making exercise challenging. Overexertion could worsen these symptoms and delay recovery.
- Increased Blood Clot Risk: Covid-19 is associated with a higher risk of blood clot formation. Overexertion might elevate this risk, posing further health concerns.
- Long Covid: Some individuals continue to experience Covid-19 symptoms for extended periods after their initial recovery. Overexertion during this phase can heighten the risk of long Covid.
The heart attack risk is higher among people with a history of severe Covid-19, according to studies. The virus can lead to complications, including myocarditis and blood clot formation, which increase the risk of heart attacks. Covid-induced cardiomyopathy, which weakens the heart muscles, is another concern. The relationship between Covid-19 and heart issues is underscored by research showing a higher likelihood of heart attacks or strokes within the six months following a Covid-19 infection.
Recovery from severe Covid necessitates avoiding physically demanding tasks, which can worsen inflammation, stress the immune system, and place individuals at risk of overexertion. Activities such as heavy lifting, running, and strenuous sports should be avoided, particularly in the presence of lung and heart damage due to Covid-19.
Maintaining heart health after Covid recovery involves dietary improvements, regular exercise (within one’s capacity), weight management, stress reduction, regular checkups, and stress reduction. Adequate hydration, sufficient sleep, and monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol levels are essential aspects of heart health.