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February 01, 2023

Recovery from long COVID can be complicated for people with heart conditions

Lower Bucks Hospital Cardiologist Dr. Shahzad Ahmed offers advice on how to care for your heart while recovering

Illness Heart Health

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For people living with a heart condition, long COVID has added yet another concern to their list of worries.

Research suggests that you are at increased risk of blood clots, heart attack, heart failure, inflammation of the heart, and abnormal heartbeat following a COVID-19 infection. One in three adults that has had COVID-19 experiences long COVID symptoms that can last weeks to months after the initial infection.

Long COVID can affect anyone who contracts the virus, but recovery can be especially complicated for those with a heart condition. Led by Dr. Shahzad Ahmed, the Cardiac Care program at Lower Bucks Hospital provides specialized care for patients in the Philadelphia area who have been diagnosed with heart conditions and are experiencing long COVID. 

Common heart symptoms following a COVID-19 infection:

  1. Fatigue, feeling tired
  2. Pounding heartbeat or palpitations
  3. Trouble breathing-shortness of breath
  4. Pain in chest- chest tightness
  5. Fast heartbeat
  6. Lightheadedness or dizziness
  7. Difficulty in sleeping
  8. Blood clots

What can you do for your heart care if you have long COVID?

  1. You should continue heart healthy habits like exercise
  2. Stay on your heart medications unless advised by your doctor
  3. Watch out for any new symptoms that could be attributed to COVID

How can you prevent long COVID?

Stay up to date on your vaccinations and get appropriate boosters as new strains of COVID-19 are emerging. It will prevent you from infection. Use proper barrier precautions and follow your local health care advisories.

If you have heart symptoms, please don’t delay your care because of fear of contracting COVID. All healthcare settings are required to have safety measures in place to protect you from COVID-19. Call 911 in an emergency. 

Dr. Ahmed is currently accepting new patients at BMC Cardiology Practice, located at 501 Bath Road in Bristol. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 215-785-5100.

About Shahzad Ahmed, MD, FACC, FSCAI, RPVI, Interventional Cardiologist, Director of Cardiology

Limited - Dr. Shahzad Ahmed MD, FACC, FSCAI, RPVI

Dr. Shahzad Ahmed

Dr. Ahmed is Board Certified in Interventional Cardiology, Cardiovascular Medicine, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology, Vascular Ultrasound, and Internal Medicine. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine. Under his leadership, Lower Bucks Hospital has started many new programs, including same-day discharge after percutaneous coronary intervention, venous and pulmonary thrombectomy, carotid stenting and implementing the radial first approach (cardiac cath through arteries of hand).

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