Heart Medications and COVID-19

A member of our social media team was told, by an acquaintance, that high cholesterol is better for people trying to avoid catching COVID-19. We immediately looked into this rumor as it could impact our customers.

One study has suggested that cholesterol-lower drugs could worsen the outcome of COVID-19 patients. However, that is only one study, and it’s about people who were diagnosed with COVID-19. They found that people with low LDL levels fared worse than people with higher LDL levels. This should not impact your actions. If you are taking medication for high cholesterol, you should not stop taking it in an attempt to avoid COVID-19.

You should not change your routine without speaking to a doctor who knows your health history. That is especially true for people taking medication. This one study does not mean you should change your behavior. Especially as drugs we take for a long time can be dangerous to stop taking suddenly. If you have a problem with your medication, want to discuss other options or are interested in exploring a new treatment plan, speak to your doctor.

People with heart concerns are at higher risk for COVID-19. However, discontinuing medication is not a way to protect yourself. Walking around your neighborhood is great for heart health. Getting outdoors and taking time for regular exercise can improve your mood and overall health. Dr. Hament Solomon, a cardiologist, says that people are walking around the block a lot more during this time while many shops and entertainment options are off-limits. We’re also going to bed earlier and getting more rest.

It’s been a huge cultural change,” said Dr. Solomon. “If you look out on the streets people are walking all the time, which I think is awesome… They are getting less steps, but the intensity of the workout is greater I think.”

We aren’t walking around the stores, but we are walking just for the sake of getting out of our homes and filling time. “I don’t know if they are going to continue, but I know we are going to encourage them,” he said. “I’ll be asking, ‘If you were able to do it three months ago, why can’t you be doing it now?’”

Sitting around too much can damage the heart and lead to blood clots forming in your veins and arteries that can end up causing dangerous blockages. Now is an excellent time to get out and exercise. Our social lives have been canceled, and we can start the exercise routines we never got around to in our busy lives.

This is the right time people need to do more active things, not just sitting around,” said Dr. Zhaoping Li, chief of the Division of Clinical Nutrition at UCLA. “Take this opportunity to do self-examination, self-inspection and self-care. This is the time we’ll have no excuse to say, ‘I’m too busy.’

COVID-19 can cause heart damage, worsen heart problems and increase your risk for a heart attack. It’s essential to avoid the virus by staying healthy and taking care of yourself. Part of taking care of yourself is following your heart plan. Exercise can aid that venture. Additionally, washing your hands, wearing a mask and not touching your face protects yourself and others from getting ill.

Suddenly stopping your medication can put you at risk for more than COVID-19. While discussing the study with your doctor may be an interesting way to discuss more options for your health, it should not change your behavior.
May 28, 2020
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