Urgent warning from heart surgeons as a quarter of a million Britons are at risk

More than a quarter of a million Britons could face a new heart-related illness due to the stress of the Covid pandemic, experts have warned.

Poor diet, lack of physical activity, stress, and mental health problems can all affect our hearts.

Many Britons are at risk of heart-related illnesses due to the stress of the coronavirus pandemic, experts warn.


Many Britons are at risk of heart-related illnesses due to the stress of the coronavirus pandemic, experts warn.Credit: Getty – Contributor

Now, leading NHS mental health provider and senior vascular surgeon, Mark Rayner, says Brits are facing a ‘trauma time bomb’ that puts them at risk of disease and fatal heart attacks due to the effects of PPSD (Post-Pandemic Stress Disorder).

He says more than 300,000 Britons face heart-related problems because of PPSD and that means a 4.5 per cent increase in cardiovascular cases across the country.

Mr Rayner, a former NHS senior psychotherapist and founder of EASE Wellbeing CIC estimates that around three million Britons are living with PPSD and said unless something is done, many will at risk of serious heart failure.

“PPSD is a very real problem on a large scale,” Mr. Rayner said. Like the condition itself with all its immediate problems, one of the biggest mortgage issues is its effect on heart health.

“It is widely recognized that reducing stress and mental health problems is crucial in the prevention and recovery of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes.

“We’re talking about 300,000 new patients with heart problems.”

Previous studies showed that patients with depression had a 64% higher risk of coronary heart disease.

This group was also 59% more likely to have a heart attack or die from a heart attack.

Diseases of the heart and circulatory system account for a quarter of all deaths in the UK – more than 160,000 a year.

Available data shows that there are around 7.6 million people living with heart or circulatory disease in the UK.

Mr. Rayner said that on this basis, three to six million people with PPSD could equate to 300,000 new cases of heart problems, an increase of about 4.5 percent nationally.

Consultant general practitioner and vascular surgeon at Northwick Park Hospital in London, Tahir Hussain says there has been a significant increase in cases at the hospitals he works, particularly in the age group. 30-45.

“I have seen a significant increase in thrombosis-related vascular conditions during my training,” says Hussain.

How can you reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke?

  • healthy eating
  • physical activity
  • Maintain a healthy weight and lose weight if necessary
  • Do not smoke
  • cut down on alcohol
  • control high blood pressure
  • cholesterol level control
  • blood sugar control (if you have diabetes)

“Much younger patients are being hospitalized and need surgical and medical interventions than they were before the pandemic. I believe many of these cases are a direct result of increased stress levels and anxiety due to the effects of PPSD.

“We also have evidence that some patients have died at home from conditions such as pulmonary embolism and myocardial infarction.

“I believe this has to do with many people isolating themselves at home without contact with the outside world and dying without getting the help they need.”

He says that while most people have heard of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), doctors and medical professionals ‘need to get to know PPSD’.

To tackle this, Mr Rayner says the NHS needs to provide more funding so they can dedicate resources to mental health services.

He added: “The NHS needs to be given the tools to enable them to treat the symptoms of PPSD before they turn to serious physical health problems like coronary heart failure.”

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Tom Vazquez

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