The sedentary lifestyle practiced by many during the work from home (WFH) ruling during the COVID-19 lockdown in the last two years has led to an increase in the number of people suffering from cardiovascular disease, an expert has said.

Associate Professor Dr Muhammad Dfazir Ismail, a consultant specialist in cardiology and internal medicine at the University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), told Bernama that among the negative aspects of the WFH also include people eating "too much unhealthy food", and not exercising enough.

"During the prolonged MCO (movement control order), most Malaysians unfortunately adopted sedentary lifestyles. Many also felt demotivated and were mentally distressed, which led to an increase in unhealthy habits such as smoking," he told the national news agency.

While Muhammad Dfazir did not provide any data, he said that he has also noted an increasing number of young patients suffering from cardiovascular disease, which can lead to a heart attack.

According to data, cardiovascular disease has remained the leading cause of deaths in the country every year, with 23 per cent of deaths in 2019 attributed to the disease.

Out of the medically confirmed deaths due to cardivascular disease, 16,325 or 15 per cent were caused by coronary artery disease (CAD), which involves the blockage of vessels of the heart.

"The process of fat deposition or atherosclerosis is the main reason why such blockage in the coronary blood vessels can happen, where oxygen supply carried by the blood cannot reach the heart muscle area. This condition also called ischemia or ischemic, will cause the heart to not function properly.

"If left untreated for a prolonged period of time, the patient will suffer a heart attack and subsequently, heart failure, which can eventually lead to death," he said.

The CAD can be worsened by other existing illness, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, inactive lifestyle and other hereditary factors, the doctor added.

Source: Bernama
Photo source: UAB Medicine