The winter months have begun through which the cases of upper respiratory tract infections will increase. In this period of COVID-19 pandemic, protecting ourselves from winter diseases has become much more important. Apart from the panic and confusion caused by the similarity of symptoms with COVID-19, it is also important to pay attention to upper respiratory tract infections and heart diseases. Head of Cardiology Department of Near East University Hospital Prof. Dr. Hamza Duygu made important comments on the relationship between upper respiratory tract infections and heart diseases.
Reminding that flu infections that progress faster than normal people in people with chronic heart disease may cause more serious lower respiratory tract infection and pneumonia due to the increased frequency of cold weather and lower body resistance. Prof. Dr. Hamza Duygu stated that people with cardiovascular disease, heart failure, arrhythmia and hypertension are more affected by infections and in some cases hospitalization may be required.
Prof. Dr. Hamza Duygu; "Fluid loss in the body caused by infection and high fever may cause heart attack."
“It is a known fact that there is a relationship between infections and cardiovascular diseases. With influenza infections, the immune system is activated in the body and an inflammatory reaction called inflammation occurs. As a result of this reaction, vascular occlusion may occur as a result of the fragmentation of the pre-formed plaques in the heart vessels and the clot settling on it, and this process can progress to a heart attack. Prof. Dr. Hamza Duygu also said that fluid losses and fever in the body during infections increase the workload of the heart by accelerating the heartbeat, and the previous and asymptomatic vascular occlusions in the person can cause a heart attack.
Prof. Dr. Hamza Duygu; "Untreated cardiac inflammation and heart muscle inflammation can cause sudden cardiac arrest."
Stating that some bacterial infections, which are mostly seen in viral infections, cause reactions in the pericardium and heart muscle, causing inflammation of the pericardium and heart muscle. Prof. Dr. Hamza Duygu said that in case of complaints such as chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting, dizziness, palpitations, and complaints such as shortness of breath, swelling in legs and abdomen with flu infection in people having previous heart disease history, patients must be examined by a cardiologist. Prof. Dr. Hamza Duygu said, “Cardiovascular inflammation is a clinical condition that requires treatment in a short time and hospitalization in some cases. If it is not treated, it can cause rhythm disturbances, heart failure and sudden cardiac arrest in people.
Flu infections and drug use
Drawing attention to the fact that some antipyretic and pain medications used in infections can increase blood pressure by causing water and salt retention in the body and can cause heart failure attacks in people with previous heart disease history. Prof. Dr. Hamza Duygu said that antibiotics used in the treatment of infection can cause bleeding, especially by interacting with blood thinner (such as coumadin) heart medications.
Reminding that people with heart disease should definitely consult a cardiology doctor before taking medication in cases such as flu infections, upper and lower respiratory tract infections, pneumonia, Prof. Dr. Hamza Duygu said, “Along with the drugs used to reduce edema in the upper respiratory tract, commonly used drugs such as nasal drops can also accelerate the heart and cause palpitations. Therefore, it is vital that patients with previous tachycardia or heart rhythm disorders consult a cardiologist before using these drugs”
Precautions to ensure cardiac health
Prof. Dr. Hamza Duygu also made suggestions for people with heart disease to prevent infection. Prof. Dr. Duygu said, “Although it applies to everyone, people with heart disease must pay more attention to hygiene, avoid crowded environments and close contact with people with infections, consume plenty of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins, ventilate rooms frequently, pay attention to fluid consumption, have flu and pneumonia vaccination."