TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - If you have underlying heart issues, contracting COVID-19 can be especially dangerous. It’s a good reason to follow recommended precautions for masking, handwashing and social distancing, but pandemic fears should not prevent you from getting medical care, according to doctors from Carondelet Health Network.
“Heart attack and stroke symptoms are always urgent and the hospital is still the safest place to be,” said Dr. Karhoba Jahan, a cardiologist for Carondelet Health Network. “Heart attacks and strokes don’t stop for COVID-19.”
Symptoms are often chalked up to stress, and with a heart attack or brain attack, minutes matter. Seeking help sooner and being proactive about your care can help save your life, according to officials.
“Your health can’t wait especially if you are a person with a risk of heart disease,” she said. Waiting to go to the hospital when you have an acute event can lead to suffering sudden death at home or suffer severe congestive heart failure and lose a lot of heart muscle.”
There’s good reason why Dr. Jahan says you should take your heart seriously, especially for women:
Heart attack symptoms displayed by men and women can be considerably different. When a woman has a heart attack she may experience classic symptoms of chest pain with radiation to the left arm, jaw or back with shortness of breath. However, she may only notice nausea, overwhelming fatigue and dizziness.
“It is incredibly important both women and men learn to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and know how prevent heart disease,” Dr. Jahan said. “Our hospitals are a safe place for our patients to attend their visits, and get any medical care needed.”
Prevention is an important first step in reducing the risk of heart disease in women. Having one or more risk factors for heart disease can be dangerous. Admittedly, some heart disease risk factors are beyond our control, such as family history and age.
You can take an active role in preventing cardiovascular disease by managing your risk factors:
- Don’t smoke
- Lower your cholesterol
- Maintain a normal weight
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a normal blood pressure
- Manage your diabetes, if you have the condition
Just as for men, women should call 9-1-1 if experiencing symptoms that seem to be life-threatening. For more information about women and heart disease, check with your doctor or visit the Women’s Heart website at http://www.womenheart.org
For more information on finding a cardiologist, visit https://www.carondelet.org/services/cardiovascular.