Episode 3 Preview: Exploring the Link Between Heart Health and Respiratory Infections

The third episode of Gulf News’ Know Plan Go: Protect Yourself from Respiratory Infections vodcast series in association with Pfizer delves into the intricate relationship between heart health and susceptibility to serious viral respiratory infections. Heart disease, a global health problem highlighted by the World Health Organization, claims approximately 17.9 million lives annually. Its impact on the severity and outcomes of viral respiratory infections cannot be underestimated.

In this episode, Dr Salwa Elkholy, a specialist cardiologist with 20 years of experience in clinical and non-invasive cardiology, offers insights into the diverse spectrum of heart disease, including conditions affecting the heart muscle, valves, coronary arteries and electrical system of the heart. system. She describes the reasons behind complications in various parts of the body, such as the brain, emphasizing the intricate connections between heart disease and broader health problems.

Dr. Elkholy explains how viral respiratory infections can directly or indirectly affect the heart, causing myocarditis, pericarditis or endocarditis. “Respiratory diseases can affect the heart in many ways, either directly or indirectly. The direct effect on the heart is rare, but can occur when heart cells become inflamed and cause myocarditis,” he says.

Noting that people with pre-existing heart conditions face a higher risk of hospitalization or serious complications from respiratory infections compared to those without such conditions, Dr. Elkholy says people aware of their heart disease should take specific steps when they experience symptoms of heart disease. a viral respiratory infection. to safeguard your health and mitigate possible complications.

Dr. Elkholy also highlights the importance of seeking immediate medical attention and getting tested when flu-like symptoms appear for those suffering from heart disease. He also discusses the various risk factors associated with heart disease, distinguishing between modifiable factors, such as lifestyle choices, and non-modifiable factors, such as age and family history. In this episode he also addresses the critical importance of lifestyle modifications and adherence to guidelines to manage these risks effectively.

For more information on managing the risks of viral respiratory infection in people with cardiovascular conditions, visit

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