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According to doctors covid-19 can increase risk of stroke in smokers and diabetics

Updated on:11 May 2020, 16:23pm IST
If you or anyone in your family is dealing with diabetes, hypertension, and/or are heavy smokers then covid-19 can be even more dangerous for them.
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That cigarette is going to cost you. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

Right now all eyes and ears are on SARS-Cov-2, the highly-contagious virus responsible for the covid-19 pandemic. Every small progress is earmarked and minute by minute tracking is being done by researchers the world over. 

The scientific fraternity is not leaving any stone unturned to unravel the unknown facts about this virus. After all, the novel coronavirus (as the name suggests) is new for everyone. And so fresh studies on covid-19 are coming out every day. 

And now doctors say that people who smoke, have diabetes and/or have hypertension need to be extra careful about contracting the virus because it can lead to a stroke. 

They suggest that covid-19 has been mutating and causing sudden stroke in people who are chain smokers, diabetic, and/or are suffering from hypertension. 

Multiple organs are affected due to this covid-19 mutation
Dr Nishith Chandra, director of Interventional Cardiology at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, says: “A lot of younger people, who had symptoms of covid-19 infection, are succumbing to strokes in the US and the UK. Due to covid-19 blood clotting increases in many parts of the body: heart, lungs, liver, brain, kidney and lower limbs.”

blood clot
SARS-Cov-2 is dangerous for regular smokers and diabetics. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

He added: “Trends show thrombosis in Indian patients. There is a possibility that stroke is likely to emerge in Indian disease pattern”.

The doctor insisted smokers and diabetic persons are more vulnerable to strokes, and it is important to exercise strict blood sugar control. “H1N1had no thrombosis, but covid-19 has”, he concludes.

That’s not all! Various studies suggest blood clotting in covid-19 patients, although rare still, can interrupt treatment and cause otherwise recovering patients to fall off the edge.

Also, Read: Bad news for smokers! EU health agency says smoking puts you at a higher risk of covid-19

Thickening of blood is leading to clot formation, suggest experts
Dr Sujeet Jha, principal director at Endocrinology Diabetes Max Health Care, says: “Clinicians should investigate all unusual strokes or even heart attacks with possible link of covid- 19 infection. Blood tends to be thicker with severe infection which results in small or larger clots which may cause sudden blockages of blood supply to part of the brain and they can lead to weakness or paralysis of the body.”

Jha also suggests that people who are suffering from diabetes are more prone to the risk of stroke and heart attack. 

People with a history of diabetes and any cardiovascular disease must watch out
According to a group of researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York City: “Covid-19 patients on mechanical ventilation, who received blood thinners, had a lower mortality rate than those who weren’t treated with them.”

covid-19 to lead to a stroke
Diabetics must eat healthy and stay active to control your blood sugar level. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Another expert, Dr Manisha Chakrabarti, senior consultant in congenital and pediatric heart diseases at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, says: “Heavy smokers, diabetics, people having hypertension and pre-existing cardiac condition are vulnerable to strokes due to Covid-19.”

Mr Chakrabarti added, “Thromboembolic events are linked to covid-19. In the US, in children, inflammation of coronary arteries was seen, and there is a possibility of clot formation in arteries…coronavirus is causing damage to organs.”

While, the risk for covid-19 is looming high for most of us–if these experts are to be believed, then people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes and heart disease are at a higher risk. This makes it even more imperative for us to ensure we take care of those in our families with these afflictions even more than before.

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