Coronavirus and Your Heart: Tips for People Living with Heart Disease

[Tucson, AZ] Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death for adults over 65 in the United States. COVID-19 puts people with heart disease at increased risk of contracting the virus and the complications that come with it.

Ajay Tuli, MD“While the focus on preventing the spread of the virus is important, it is also paramount for heart disease patients to continue to take prescribed medications and follow up with their cardiologists, eat well, manage stress and exercise if it is safe for them to do so,” says Pima Heart & Vascular President Ajay Tuli, MD.

Physicians at Pima Heart & Vascular emphasize the importance of preventing the spread of the virus and have implemented various precautions to ensure the safety of patients and staff to limit risks. This includes telehealth options for many of their patients during this time.

“We are prepared to continue to care for the cardiovascular health of our community, and would like to emphasize that people with heart disease are especially vulnerable during this time and should exercise the most extreme caution,” says Dr. Tuli.

The following are a few tips that Pima Heart & Vascular suggests to support self-care:

Take prescribed medications: Please do not stop taking a medication without consulting your prescribing physician.

Eat nutritious foods: Continue to eat fruits and vegetables, limiting processed food as much as possible.

Stop smoking: Cigarettes cause your arteries to constrict, making your heart work harder, raising blood pressure and increasing your risk for stroke.

Exercise: Move your body for at least 30 minutes a day. Take your pet for walk, put on an online workout video, or use household items for light resistance training. Regular exercise helps keep your heart muscles stronger and can lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Incorporate relaxation techniques: Stress can affect your immune system. Take time for yourself to practice stress relieving activities such as gentle yoga, meditation, journaling or gardening. It is ok to limit the amount of media you are consuming.

Find support: While social distancing is an effective tool to keep you safe, it is important to maintain social relationships. Make time for phone calls or video chats with your loved ones.

Communicate with your health care providers: It is important that your health care team know about your concerns and symptoms. Make sure to write down all questions you have for your provider, then you can ask them during your next appointment.

Note: Please call your doctor if you are experiencing any health concerns.


Pima Heart & Vascular is the largest locally owned and operated cardiovascular practice in Arizona. Its board-certified physicians specialize in internal medicine, general, interventional, and structural cardiology, electrophysiology, cardiothoracic surgery and vascular surgery. With convenient locations throughout all of Tucson as well as locations in Benson, Douglas, Nogales, Willcox, Sierra Vista, Casa Grande, Oro Valley, and Marana, these doctors provide services in clinics throughout Southern Arizona, as well as at their vascular lab, vein center, ambulatory surgery center and at most area hospitals. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 520-838-3540  or visit