In India, along with the United States of America, heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. Though cardiac disease accounts for more deaths in women than breast cancer, cervical cancer and Alzheimer’s disease combined, most women are not quite aware of their risk to fall prey to heart diseases. In these times of the global pandemic – COVID-19 – women should be more vigilant to keep themselves safe from cardiac diseases. Let’s take a look at preventive heart care for women in these times of COVID-19.
COVID-19, Women & Cardiac ailments
A worrying trend that has been prevalent among the general population ever since the pandemic started was to postpone the appointment with doctors. They obviously were worried about catching COVID-19. But, its repercussions are quite serious – cardiologists around the world have been warning people that they may be putting their lives at risk. Among these people, women are at more risk for a variety of reasons; let’s take a look at them.
Women form a formidable chunk of essential workers, particularly during the times of COVID-19. However, in comparison with their male counterparts, they are reluctant to seek healthcare for themselves owing to a range of reasons including social and economic.
Following are a few of the preventive heart care measures for women during COVID-19 times:
Adhere to the New Normal
Whether you’re a homemaker or an office-goer, it’s impossible to ignore the new normal, which is characterised by wearing masks, frequent hand washing, using sanitizer, maintaining social distancing, etc.
If you’ve the habit of smoking, the time is now to quit it. Smoking plays a major role in causing cardiac ailments.
Keep Yourself Fit
You may be finding it difficult to hit the neighbourhood park to jog. But it doesn’t mean that you stay idle. Work out regularly for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Eat A Heart-Healthy Diet
Put that packet of junk food away. Work from home doesn’t mean that you snack on high-on sodium, high-on fat snacks. Instead, include fruits, vegetables and a variety of nutrient-rich nuts in your diet.
Watch Your Weight
Gaining weight steadily leads to obesity – a serious condition that is associated with cardiovascular diseases. Make sure that you keep your weight under control and keep your heart healthy.
Make sure that you sleep for 6 to 8b hours. Sleep deprivation can lead to stress and other complications which are harmful to your heart health.
The modern lifestyle causes tremendous stress. Do things that help you beat stress such as reading, spending time with family, yoga, etc.
Do Regular Screening
Regular health checkup is one of the surefire ways to keep your heart health safe. Don’t make COVID-19 an excuse to avoid regular health screening.
Make Use of Telemedicine
Though telemedicine has been around for a while, it came as a blessing in disguising during these times of COVID-19. Make sure that you communicate your symptoms and problem to your doctor well, so that they can help you stay healthy. While it may not quite easy for you to do it for the first time, once you get accustomed to it, you’ll find it super convenient.
Remember, cardiac ailments pose a serious health risk. But with preventive measures, you can keep yourself hale and hearty.
Dr. Anupama Hegde | Senior Consultant – Cardiology – Adult | M S Ramaiah Narayana Heart Centre, M S Ramaiah Nagar, Bangalore