Skip to main content

Military Health System

Cardiovascular providers counter pandemic-induced sedentary lifestyle

Image of Military health personnel sticking an IV in a patient's arm. Michelle Pribble, Naval Medical Center San Diego's (NMCSD) lead nuclear medicine technologist, administers an IV to a patient before a positron emission tomography (PET) scan in the hospital's Nuclear Medicine Department in October 2020. A PET scan is used for revealing or evaluating conditions like heart conditions, cancers, and brain disorders (Photo by: Navy Seaman Luke Cunningham, Naval Medical Center San Diego).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Heart Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Heart Health Toolkit | Heart Health Toolkit

The fear of encountering COVID-19 at civilian hospitals and emergency rooms is likely keeping patients away even if they are having a cardiac event, according to Air Force Col. (Dr.) Bryan White, a cardiovascular specialist at the Mike O'Callaghan Military Medical Center located aboard Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

"The ERs have been overwhelmed. If you have a cardiac disorder, it can be scary to think of going to where there are COVID-19 patients and long waits in crowded conditions," White said.

As a result, many elderly patients are presenting much later in the course of their disease, with more advanced and possibly irreversible symptoms and disease, White added.

Due to the pandemic, many heart patients are also self-isolating. This leads to a more sedentary lifestyle because they are afraid to go to stores, which then leads to more unhealthy diet and exercise habits. They are also becoming depressed and/or anxious, or developing or worsening hypertension, all of which are contributing factors to heart health decline.

"The risk factors were there pre-COVID-19, but have increased," White said. "Even though patients are doing a good job at avoiding COVID-19, the increased stress, anxiety, and isolation are taking their toll."

In contrast, Nellis beneficiaries "are happy to come in" he said, "because elderly patients want the care" and know that they can make a one-stop shop by also getting their prescriptions on base as well as getting diagnostic procedures and lab work done, thus lessening the need to drive to multiple stores or centers that could increase their exposure to COVID-19.

To mitigate exposure, the 99th Medical Group that operates the Nellis military medical treatment facility has staggered appointments, and follows strict Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 protocols.

Nellis patients can come in person or use telehealth. White sees patients face-to-face, while other cardiac specialists see patients virtually. Nellis is also looking to acquire more COVID-19 vaccines, especially for the retiree and beneficiary populations, he said.

"I agree that patients with cardiac conditions are avoiding the hospitals and ER due to fear of COVID-19 exposure," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Olamide Oladipo, chief of cardiology, Navy Medical Center-San Diego. "I cannot speak to whether the isolation, depression, anxiety and sedentary lifestyles are making more cardiovascular patients sicker" due to lack of data.

"I can say that cardiovascular patients at NMCSD are followed regularly using virtual tele-visits, and patients who need visits at the facility for any reason are given in-person appointments," Oladipo said.

To ensure everyone’s safety and reduce potential COVID-19 exposures at NMCSD, patients and staff members are screened before getting to the clinic on a regular basis with temperature checks and by answering simple screening questions for COVID-19-related symptoms.

"We also developed a staggered appointment process to space out in-person encounters and prevent multiple patients at one time in the waiting area," Oladipo said.

Whatever the perception, it is highly likely that COVID-19 is having a negative impact on cardiovascular care across the nation. But what makes care distinctive for Military Health System service members, retirees, and beneficiaries is that military medical treatment facilities are a known and safe entity they can count on.

"It's the community aspect to military care that makes it special," White said.

You also may be interested in...

Dental Health Main

Infographic
1/13/2022
Dental Health Main

Dental and oral health is critical to overall readiness, and poor dental hygiene and preventive practices can impact deployability. #dentalhealth

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Dental Care | Dental Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

Teeth

Infographic
1/12/2022
Teeth

Your teeth are your tools for eating – not for opening bottles or packages. Stick to using your hands to open containers. #dentalhealth

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Dental Care | Dental Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

Dental Health Reminder Avoid Tobacco

Infographic
1/12/2022
Dental Health Reminder Avoid Tobacco

Cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and other forms of tobacco cause oral cancer, gum disease, and other oral health problems. Avoid using tobacco to maintain your oral health. #dentalhealth

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Dental Care | Dental Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

Dental Statistics

Infographic
1/12/2022
Dental Statistics

Dental Did You Know? Dental issues can negatively impact your deployability. Stay mission ready and keep on top of your dental care. #dentalhealth

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Dental Care | Dental Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

Food and Beverage

Infographic
1/12/2022
Food and Beverage

#DYK: Drinks and foods high in sugar can lead to damage to your teeth. Skip the soda to protect your teeth. #dentalhealth

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Dental Care | Dental Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

Dental Health Awareness. Things to do in your birthday month?

Infographic
1/12/2022
Dental Health Awareness. Things to do in your birthday month?

Is your birthday this month? Happy birthday! Now is the perfect time to schedule your annual dentist appointment. #dentalhealth

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Dental Care | Dental Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

Dental Health Awareness: Reminder - Make Dentist Appointment

Infographic
1/12/2022
Dental Health Awareness: Reminder - Make Dentist Appointment

Things to do on your birthday: 1. Eat cake. 2. Brush your teeth. 3. Make your annual dentist appointment. #dentalhealth

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Dental Care | Dental Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

Dental Health Awareness

Infographic
1/12/2022
Dental Health Awareness

DYK: Your birth month is the perfect time to make your yearly appointments – don’t neglect your teeth and make your dentist appointment this month. #dentalhealth

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Dental Care | Dental Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

Dental Health Awareness 2

Infographic
1/12/2022
Dental Health Awareness 2

Keep yourself mission ready by taking care of your teeth. Schedule your dental appointment to maintain readiness. #dentalhealth

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Dental Care | Dental Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

Critically ill COVID Patient Delivers Baby While on Heart-Lung Bypass

Article
1/11/2022
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hernandez and his wife, Ashley, take a family portrait with their six children. Ashley is BAMC’s first patient to give birth while on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation.

Hernandez, a Marine Corps spouse and mother of five, is BAMC’s first patient to give birth while on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

This is my Why

Article Around MHS
12/30/2021
Air Force Senior Airman Marcus Bullock poses for a photo after receiving his COVID-19 vaccination

Air Force Senior Airman Marcus Bullock stated his reason for getting the vaccine was to help his mother and son be able to have a play date again.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Development of WRAIR’s Pan-Coronavirus Vaccine Shows Promise

Article
12/28/2021
A vial of spike ferritin nanoparticle WRAIR's COVID-19 vaccine

Series of preclinical studies supports the Army’s pan-coronavirus vaccine development strategy

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Immunization Experts are Central to COVID-19 Vaccine Program

Article
12/20/2021
Medical director at Fort Riley, Kansas receives a COVID-19 vaccination In his left arm from a tech in personal protective equipment.

Immunization Health Division at forefront of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Military Health System Marks 1-Year Anniversary for COVID Vaccinations

Article
12/14/2021
FEmale Marine gets COVID 19 vaccination in left  arm at Camp LeJeune in December 2020

More than 6.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered a year after first shots within MHS.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

So others may breathe - Navy Medicine Respiratory Therapist cares for COVID casualties

Article Around MHS
12/13/2021
Military Health personnel posing for a picture

Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Tessa Hazard, a respiratory therapist, recently deployed to Alabama as a member of a COVID-19 response team.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 61 - 75 Page 5 of 30
Refine your search
Last Updated: April 28, 2021
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery