Coronavirus restrictions continue to take their toll in new ways, as Czech doctors are now reporting a surge in heart disease as a result of things like sedentary at-home lifestyles, being banned from sports and recreation, and getting lazy with their diets. 

Aleš Linhart, head of cardiology and angiology of the Prague General University Hospital, says there’s always a close relationship between the economic performance of a country and cardiovascular disease.

“There is a close link between economic performance and cardiovascular disease. If the country becomes poor, then we will certainly face an epidemic of heart disease. This may be exacerbated by the loss of sport, culture, and a sedentary lifestyle during the pandemic… The incidence of heart attacks is always higher in areas with lower incomes, and this is clear in our country, even despite the fact that the Czech Republic has relatively small differences in wealth per region.”

Linhart, who’s also the chairman of the Czech Society of Cardiology, believes that the lockdowns are leading to an increase in obesity, lack of exercise, and a decrease in happiness and mental stability, adding to the negative health consequences. 

“All of this is directly affecting the condition of our blood vessels and circulation and can have an adverse effect on the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other similar complications.” 

The cardiology expert also notes that most people are neglecting existing health issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and untreated diabetes. To avoid an epidemic of heart problems in the country, he recommends people do things that may seem obvious but still go unchecked, like regular exercise, a balanced and varied diet with more fruits and veggies, and not neglecting any existing issues.