Living with asthma can be quite restrictive and troublesome. It can make breathing tough and trigger an unending bout of cough which could leave you drained. Asthma can also impact your heart and raise stroke chances. A new study in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests people with persistent asthma suffer from higher levels of inflammation and artery plaque, which can in turn increase their chances of a heart attack or stroke. It is important to take care of your heart when you have asthma. From doing regular exercise, de-stressing to avoiding smoking and alcohol, one can keep asthma symptoms in control by making healthy lifestyle modifications. (Also read: World Heart Day 2022: Best and worst foods for heart health)
LINK BETWEEN ASTHMA AND HEART DISEASE
“There is a direct link between asthma and cardiovascular disorders. Patients with persistent asthma are more likely to have a heart attack or a rhythm disorder like atrial fibrillation. It is mostly believed to be result of inflammation. These patients are always at a higher risk, as they usually confuse chest discomfort of heart attack with an asthmatic attack. It is important to spread awareness about these symptoms,” says Dr Gulshan Rohra, Heart Care Specialist (CVTS), Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central.
NEED FOR HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
“It has been found in various studies that asthmatic patients have high risk of heart and other vascular diseases because of high systemic inflammation in these patients. So, it’s very important for asthmatic patients to follow heart healthy lifestyle like avoidance of trans fatty acids, less saturated fat in their diet and intake of more fruits and vegetables,” says Dr Gajinder Kumar Goyal, Director Cardiology Marengo QRG Hospital, Faridabad.
“People with asthma should make sure that they exercise on a daily basis. Do so only after speaking to the doctor and under the guidance of a fitness trainer. But, avoid exercising in extreme weather conditions. Try to minimise alcohol intake and avoid smoking as these things can worsen the condition further. One should de-stress by doing relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation to keep the heart and lungs in top shape. It is essential for one to get a good night’s sleep of at least 8 hours each day. Moreover, one should also maintain a healthy weight and go for regular follow-ups,” says Dr Narayan Gadkar, Consultant Cardiologist, Zen Multi speciality Hospital, Chembur.
Regular exercise can help keep asthma symptoms in control and decrease chances of heart diseases.
“Regular exercise at least for 30 minutes a day is important in these patients to decrease incidences of cardiovascular diseases. In additional regular monitoring of blood pressure, sugar levels and cholesterol levels are very important in these patients. Weight reduction helps in both managing asthma and heart diseases. Lastly avoidance of smoking and tobacco products are of upmost importance to decrease the incidence of asthmatic attack and cardiovascular events,” says Dr Goyal.
“Improve your cardiovascular fitness, also called your cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) to stay fit and fine. Avoid pollution and irritants such as smoke and chemicals that can be problematic for the heart and lungs too. Remember to take utmost care of yourself and lead a healthy life,” says Dr Gadkar.