Heart attacks are on the rise in Spain since the coronavirus pandemic, and experts have shed light on what the leading causes are. 

Director of Comprehensive Heart Disease Plan for Andalucia Rafael Hidalgo said the increase in cardiovascular deaths came down to a relaxation of healthy habits, difficulties with mobility and patients’ fear of doctors.  

“The abandonment of healthy habits, a sedentary lifestyle, the fear of going to the doctor due to infections may have something to do with it and now is when it must be tackled,” he told Despierta Andalucia on September 30. 

There are 15,000 heart attacks a year in Andalucia and 100,000 throughout Spain. 

Spain Health Virus
There are 15,000 heart attacks a year in Andalucia and 100,000 throughout Spain. Photo: Miguel Riopa/AFP

September 29 marked World Health Day and Dr Hidalgo urged people to get regular checkups and look out for symptoms. 

“Our goal is to address risk factors, to early detection, diagnosis and treatment to improve cardiovascular health and therefore the mortality of the entire population,” he said. 

“When in doubt as to whether or not it is a heart attack, I recommend that families go to hospital or call 061 with a series of questions to identify the problem.”

The Virgen Macarena Hospital in Sevilla this year piloted a cardiovascular prevention consultation program, designed to carry out early detection of severe dyslipidemia, a condition that involves unhealthy levels of fat in the blood. 

Dr Hidalgo is part of the program’s specialist team who monitor the hearts of high-risk patients – a computer algorithm then sends an email to the email address of the laboratory with a health report.

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