Beyond following the guidance to protect yourself and others, people with existing heart conditions, should take additional steps to stay healthy and heart strong. These include the following:
Just as you did before the current COVID-19 pandemic, focus on heart-healthy habits. Doing so will help bolster your immune system against COVID-19 and other infections. These habits will also help to slow or prevent your heart disease from getting worse.
Take your medications as prescribed unless you are told otherwise by your health care professional. This includes medications for high blood pressure and heart failure medications,
including ACE-inhibitors (for example, enalapril or lisinopril), ARBs (for example, losartan or valsartan) and statins.
Be sure to check with your care team before starting any new therapy, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins or supplements. Also be sure to talk with them before stopping any of your current medications. There is a lot of misinformation swirling about certain medications or vitamins and COVID-19.
If you have questions, take advantage of telemedicine if your health professional offers it.
Try to keep at least two weeks of groceries and other essential supplies in your home during this time.
It’s also a good idea to ask your health care team, including your pharmacist, if you can get a one- to three-month supply of medications.
Use delivery services or ask about community programs that are helping older people and those at greater risk of illness.
Minding your mental health during COVID-19 is important. Be sure to keep tabs on how you are feeling and share your concerns with your care team.
Also, remember that social distancing to slow the spread of the virus doesn’t mean you should distance yourself emotionally, socially or spiritually. In fact, we are learning that there can be real psychological effects of being away from friends, family and colleagues, including feeling tired, irritable, anxious and depressed. It’s important to stay safely connected to people who matter to you.
In addition, try to find time for calm, maintain your routine and sleep at normal times.