America’s hearts are hurting: COVID continues to take toll on heart health

Damage of COVID and missed medical care takes toll

February is Heart Month and a new survey shows the pandemic continues to take a toll on our hearts in more ways than one. From the direct damage of COVID, to the ongoing mental effects and missed medical care -- America’s hearts are hurting. As the pandemic drags on, a survey from the Cleveland Clinic suggests Americans are becoming disinterested in healthy habits.

DETROIT – February is Heart Month and a new survey shows the pandemic continues to take a toll on our hearts in more ways than one.

From the direct damage of COVID, to the ongoing mental effects and missed medical care -- America’s hearts are hurting. As the pandemic drags on, a survey from the Cleveland Clinic suggests Americans are becoming disinterested in healthy habits.

Dr. Samir Kapadia, a Cleveland Clinic Cardiologist, said once arteries get blocked or your blood pressure becomes high it can create problems in your arteries that aren’t easily reversible.

The survey reveals that fewer people are walking during the day. Around 77% report they often, or sometimes, spend most of their day sitting.

Doctors recommend that a healthy person should at least exercise 30 to 45 minutes every day. If you do not, then cholesterol accumulates in the arteries.

Being infected with COVID can harm the heart too. Doctors are seeing the heart muscle get infected with the COVID virus, or there is inflammation in the heart muscle or inflammation around the heart muscle.

There is also an increased risk of blood clots, which can lead to stroke or heart attack. COVID can also cause irregular heartbeats.

During heart month, Kapadia is encouraging a renewed focus on exercise, a healthy diet and preventing COVID.

The survey also found that 34% of Americans feel that if they have a family history of heart disease, there is nothing they can do to reduce their risk of heart issues.

Doctors say that is false, early screening and treatment can dramatically lower that risk and save lives.


Click here for complete Heart Month coverage.



About the Authors:

You can watch Kimberly Gill weekdays anchoring Local 4 News at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. and streaming live at 10 p.m. on Local 4+. She's an award-winning journalist who finally called Detroit home in 2014. Kim has won Regional Emmy Awards, and was part of the team that won the National Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast in 2022.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.