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Tracing the connection between Covid and heart issues

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 7:11 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -

February is American Heart Health Month, a time to raise awareness of the many issues that can lead to health problems for both men and women. In this week’s Medical Monday, Kathy McCarty has more on Covid and how it plays a role in heart health.

Heart disease is the number 1 cause of death for men and women in the United States, says Jaymie St. Peter, a Nurse Practitioner in the Cardiology Department at Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital.

“The American Heart Association reports that one in three women and one in four men will develop heart disease each year. And of those patients, one in five actually die from heart disease-related complications every year,” says Jaymie St. Peter, a Nurse Practitioner in Cardiology, at Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital.

Doctors are learning more every day on the effects Covid-19 has on a person’s body, especially the lungs, which process oxygen for our blood.

St. Peter says, “Those two organ systems, the pulmonary system which is our lungs and the circulatory system which is our heart, work very closely together. Our veins bring all that blood back to our heart, which pumps it to our lungs to get all the oxygen that we need and get rid of all the stuff we don’t, the lungs pump it back to the heart so the heart can pump it out to our body and get the blood to our nose and toes. And without that process of the two of those systems working well together, it puts strain on the other systems in our body.”

Fear of exposure has caused some people to delay care.

“We know that in an emergent event or if you’re having something that’s happening, the best and safest place for you to be is at the hospital, where you’re gonna get the interventions that come earlier and the treatment that you need. So while we want you to be safe and limit your exposure with the coronavirus, we also want you to be not delaying care for yourself,” says St. Peter.

St. Peter says symptoms vary between men and women but can include: chest pain or discomfort; shortness of breath; discomfort in one or both arms, shoulders, or middle of your back; nausea; or pain in your jaw or neck. Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

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