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...

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

Flu Vaccination Rates are Running High Across the Military This Year

Article
12/8/2021
Image of a woman giving someone an injection on the arm.

Rates of flu vaccination among service members are significantly higher than in previous years.

Recommended Content:

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Immunizations | Influenza, Northern Hemisphere

Army Public Health Center provides update on Long COVID risks

Article Around MHS
12/1/2021
COVID19 Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems people can experience four or more weeks after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

JTF Coyote begins pediatric COVID-19 clinics as adult booster vaccination numbers increase

Article Around MHS
11/23/2021
Military health personnel giving the COVID-19 vaccine

The Vermont National Guard now supports the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic with vaccinations for youth in the 5 to 11 age group and booster clinics for the general adult population.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

MHS Reaches 6 Million Doses of Vaccine Against COVID

Article
11/10/2021
Airmen of the 139th Airlift Wing, Missouri Air National Guard, receive COVID-19 immunizations as a part of the federal mandate at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, St. Joseph, Missouri, Oct. 2, 2021. The 139th Medical Group oversees the operation. .

Military passes 6 million mark for COVID-19 shots administered across the Military Health System.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Information for Military Treatment Facility Directors

COVID 19 Vaccine Is Now Available for Children 5 to 11

Article
11/9/2021
5-year-old girl in mask reads a book by herself

COVID-19 vaccines for 5-11 year olds are ready now through MHS

Recommended Content:

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

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination Attestation, Screening Testing, and Vaccination Verification

Policy

This memorandum provides guidance on the implementation of vaccination, attestation, and testing requirements in accordance with the References listed in Attachment 1 to reduce the transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.

More Than 95% of Active Duty Have Received COVID-19 Vaccine

Article
10/15/2021
Female hospital corpsman gives a COVID-19 vaccine injection to a sailor in her left arm

Service members continue to line up for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Information for Military Treatment Facility Directors

Stay Mission Ready with the Flu Vaccine

Video
10/13/2021
Stay Mission Ready with the Flu Vaccine

FLU SEASON IS HERE, AND THE THREAT OF SERIOUS ILLNESS MAKES IT EVEN MORE IMPORTANT TO GET YOUR FLU VACCINE THIS YEAR.

Recommended Content:

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Immunizations | Seasonal Influenza Resource Center 2022-23

Flu Season: Staying Healthy

Video
10/13/2021
Flu Season: Staying Healthy

 FLU SEASON IS HERE AND GETTING YOUR FLU VACCINE IS THE BEST WAY TO STOP THE SPREAD.

Recommended Content:

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Immunizations | Seasonal Influenza Resource Center 2022-23

Flu Shots are Available Now And Are More Important than Ever

Article
10/13/2021
Military personnel getting their flu shot

It’s flu season. Get vaccinated. COVID-19 concerns should redouble desire to get vaccinated against the flu.

Recommended Content:

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Immunizations | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Influenza, Northern Hemisphere

USECAF receives insight into COVID19 vaccinations at Reserve wing

Article Around MHS
10/8/2021
Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones visits with 433rd Airlift Wing members at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Oct. 2, 2021.

Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones visited the 433rd Airlift Wing here to meet with Reserve Citizen Airmen leaders on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination efforts, Oct. 2, 2021.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus & the MHS Response
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10  ... > >> 
Showing results 76 - 90 Page 6 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