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More than 40% of Americans have experienced heart-related issues during pandemic, according to new study

Cleveland Clinic found stress a big factor for the increase in heart issues
Cleveland Clinic survey shows pandemic pounds can lead to COVID cholesterol
Cleveland Clinic survey shows pandemic pounds can lead to COVID cholesterol
Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 1:07 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The spread of COVID has taken a huge toll on Americans, according to the survey of 1,000 Americans by the Cleveland Clinic. It found the pandemic lifestyle has created some dangerous trends.

“Unfortunately, we’ve become more sedentary, and we’ve started to exercise less and started to eat more,” said Dr. Leslie Cho, director of the Cleveland Clinic Women’s Cardiovascular Center. “The average American gained an average of 11 pounds in the last two years, which is a fair amount of weight.”

She said that weight gain and stress has contributed to elevated blood pressure, which can lead to heart attack and stroke.

“It’s been a really stressful two years as everyone knows,” Dr. Cho said.

The survey found 27% of Americans that have been diagnosed with COVID-19 say it’s impacted their heart health.

One reason for the increase: Eating comfort food to deal with stress.

“Unfortunately, those comfort foods increase our risk of having diabetes, increasing our cholesterol, which is like a vicious cycle,” said Cho.

But Cho says people can reverse the effects of these poor lifestyle habits.

“Ninety percent of heart disease is preventable, regardless of who your mom and dad are, regardless of your family history,” she said. “It’s totally preventable,”

She suggests exercising more, meditating, and eating a plant-based Mediterranean diet.

February is Heart Health Awareness Month.

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