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The impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our hearts with 3News' Monica Robins

For women, high stress from the pandemic can have a very scary impact.

CLEVELAND — On Friday, I had an hour long discussion about heart health on the American Heart Association Ohio's Facebook page.

The pandemic is definitely having an impact on our hearts and a Cleveland Clinic survey found that a lot of people don't realize the danger of not only the virus but also the pandemic in general.

The virus can damage the heart and affect its pumping function and clotting mechanisms of the blood, which can cause cardiovascular problems. This can affect even people with healthy hearts who get infected with covid. And of course, those who already have heart disease are at much higher risk for severe cases of illness after infection. 

This pandemic has put us all under a lot of stress, some more than others, if dealing with job loss, home schooling and isolation. But for women, high stress can have a very scary impact.

"This is being triggered in women who are having emotional traumas that they're experiencing during this pandemic, which can affect blood flow to the heart. It can trigger arrythmias, can trigger what looks just like a heart attack and can alter the function of the heart cells and can create a short term episode of heart failure," explains Dr. Felice Gersh, integrative gynecologist from California, who spoke with me during today's discussion.

Dr. Gersh recommends finding your happy place daily with some kind of meditation, be it a walk or using an app that will help calm your mind and keep your present. And of course, if you feel strange symptoms of heart attack or stroke, do not delay getting to an emergency room or calling 911.

You can watch Monica in the American Heart Association's discussion from Friday in the player below:

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