In a new study from the Cleveland Clinic, researchers found 4 in 10 Americans say they’ve had at least one heart-related issue during the COVID-19 pandemic, and about one in four who have tested positive say COVID has affected their heart health.
They found shortness of breath (18%), dizziness (15%), higher blood pressure (15%) and chest pain (13%) were the top problems reported in the survey of 1,000 American adults.
In the study, the team wanted to see what kind of effect the ongoing pandemic is having on Americans’ heart health and in particular their healthy habits.
About 90% of heart disease is preventable through a healthier diet, regular exercise, and not smoking, so now is the time to refocus on our heart health.
The online poll found that more Americans are glued to their chairs, and walking has declined. In all, 77% of respondents said they often or sometimes sit throughout the day.
Overall, four in 10 respondents who have lost a family member to heart disease before age 60 have never been screened for the condition that caused their loved one’s death.
But the rate of screening was higher (54%) among millennials.
And one-third of respondents said that even if they have a family history of heart disease, there is nothing they can do to reduce their risk. But doctors say early screening and treatment can save lives.
The team also found about one-third of respondents were unaware that these factors can increase the risk of heart disease: stress (33%); high blood pressure (35%); obesity (39%); and smoking/vaping (41%).
Just 22% were aware that the Mediterranean diet is heart-healthy, and about 51% said they don’t follow a specific diet plan.
The team says that 77% of respondents knew their family history of heart disease and 65% said they had had their blood pressure checked within the last six months.
If you care about heart health, please read studies about blood pressure drug that may increase heart failure risk, and common food linked to heart disease and death.
For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about cheap drug combo that could reduce heart disease death by one-third, and results showing this vitamin may hide heart attacks if you use it too much.
The poll was conducted by Dr. Samir Kapadia et al.
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