“Heart disease is killing more people than Covid is” – Dr Robert Xuereb

The Head of the Cardiology Department, Dr Robert Xuereb said that while around the world more than one million people have died from Covid 19, one needs to remember that around 17 million die from heart disease. Dr Xuereb said that while it is important to avoid getting sick with Covid-19, there is an even greater need to prevent heart disease which is killing hundreds and hundreds of people yearly.

Dr Xuereb said, “to date as we know more than 40 people have died, however every year around 900 people die from coronary heart disease, so it is important that along with the awareness created to prevent Covid, such as washing our hands, we also need to convey the message that it is important to prevent heart disease with warnings about cigarettes, sugar and cholesterol.”

From statistics obtained by Dr Xuereb, it results that while, last year, Mater Dei carried out 300 operations for heart disease in one month, this year, especially between March and May, these went down to 220 per month. Dr Xuereb said this year, many people did not go to the hospital even when they felt they were having a heart attack.

Dr Xuereb explained that, “compared with previous years there was a drop of at least one third of those who usually come forward when they have a heart attack, because when they come we can open the artery and save the heart muscle.”

Dr Xuereb said that between today and Saturday, the Maltese Cardiac Society, will be organising a virtual conference which will be attended by 17 of the best heart specialists in the world, with the participation of consultants and doctors from ten different countries, during which they will discuss the best surgeries for heart disease to save more people.

He appealed that during these challenging times, one should take the opportunity to take care of one’s health by eating well, doing exercise and reducing as much stress as possible so that if one contracts the virus, one’s body will be healthy enough to fight against it.