Cardiac Care in the Age of Coronavirus

Deborah Heart and Lung Center cardiologist Ketan Gala, MD

Rasa Kaye
August 01, 2020 - 12:00 am
Dr. Gala

While our understanding of coronavirus disease (COVID 19) evolves by the day, certain characteristics of the virus have remained constant over the last half-year since the

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disease first showed: the risk of developing dangerous symptoms seems to be higher in people who are older and in people of any age who have other serious health problems — the catch-all term “underlying conditions.”

Heart or lung disease, weakened immune systems, obesity, or diabetes are among the issues that play into worse treatment outcomes for COVID 19, as they do similarly with other respiratory illnesses, such as seasonal flu.  Many of these same issues are intertwined with overall heart health, so Deborah Heart and Lung Center cardiologist  Ketan Gala, MD stresses the importance of maintaining optimal heart health no matter your own level of cardiovascular disease.

“Even if you’ve had a lifetime of bad habits, if you don’t have manifestations of severe heart disease,“ he says, “If you’re not having the chest pain, the blockage, the heart failure, the arrhythmias, it’s definitely never too late to make those lifestyle changes. You really, really, REALLY have an opportunity to get healthy at any age at any point in life.”

And for those with established heart disease, it’s critically important to keep necessary care appointments with your medical team to stay on top of your condition, especially during a pandemic.

KYW’s Rasa Kaye talks with Ketan Gala, MD, cardiologist about how medical practices have responded to keep patients safe for routine non-COVID 19 visits, the effects of emotional and psychological stress on the heart, and  how to specifically strengthen the cardiovascular system to resist disease.