Boston 25 News examines the pandemic’s impact on heart disease rates

For many of us, the pandemic has changed our routines in unhealthy ways. We may be exercising less, eating an unhealthier diet and experiencing mores stress.

What impact will this have on our chances of developing heart disease?

Boston 25 News took a look at this issue in a story that aired on Monday.

Interviewed for the piece was Dr. Ami Bhatt, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and member of the American Heart Association’s Boston Board of Directors. Bhatt said while it may be too soon to measure the exact impact the pandemic has had on cardiovascular disease, it’s clear that risk factors, such as stress, are on the rise.

“We know that stress is bad for heart disease. We know that anxiety and depression track with heart disease, and we have seen all of the psychiatric disorders and emotional states have gotten worse because of the pandemic,” said Bhatt.

The piece, which was was produced by Bob Dumas, a special projects video journalist with Boston 25 News, also spotlighted the American Heart Association’s “Don’t Die of Doubt” campaign. This initiative was launched last year in an effort to encourage people to seek medical attention immediately if they are experiencing warning signs of a heart attack or stroke.

The campaign was conceived in response to reports that hospitals were seeing decreases in the number of patients seeking treatment for cardiovascular issues during the pandemic. Its aim is to assure the public that even during the pandemic hospitals are still the safest place to be when medical emergencies strike

“When we looked at the numbers it turned out that at-home deaths and at-home events were increasingly significantly,” said Bhatt.

To watch the full Boston 25 News report, click here or on the image below.

Dr. Ami Bhatt, a Massachusetts General Hospital cardiologist and member of the American Heart Association’s Boston Board of Directors, is interviewed on Boston 25 News about the pandemic’s impact on heart disease.