SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- It's no secret that COVID-19 has created a host of challenges to those with the virus, as well as the doctors, as they work to fight it.
Now, new research has shown that stress could pose a major roadblock when it comes to recovering from the coronavirus.
"Trying to parse out real information that's meaningful versus information, that can be harmful sometimes becomes difficult," said Baystate Medical Center's Associate Chief of Cardiology Doctor Amir Lotfi.
Lotfi told Western Mass News certain factors will leave you at greater risk when trying to fight COVID-19.
"If you're older, you have heart, lung, kidney, diabetes, high blood pressure, it has a more serious impact," Lotfi explained.
He also said, so far the steroid dexamethasone and the anti-viral drug, remdesivir, are two therapies that are working for coronavirus patients.
He told us while heart doctors are being supportive of the treatment, they're also concerned about a recent study following two Ohio hospitals.
The study showed an increase in patients with stress-induced cardiomyopathy, or broken heart syndrome, which is associated with increased stress and anxiety.
"During this pandemic, through social isolation, people out of work, all of the other stressors that come from this, they saw an uptick in this stress-induced heart attack," he said.
According to Lotfi, social isolation adds another level of stress, on top of recovering from a brand new virus.
"What we're seeing is those people, those patients who leave the hospital, they need continued surveillance," Lotfi said.
But doctors are still working to figure that part out.
"What kind of surveillance, what kind of follow up, what to watch out for? These are the things we'll continue to learn as we observe the situation more carefully," Lotfi explained.
He also said the best method for prevention is to follow CDC guidelines, but patients should not shy away from seeking medical care.
"If you have any signs or symptoms, do not delay care because of fear of going to the hospital. Because sometimes delaying care puts you at greater risk," Lotfi noted.
Lotfi told Western Mass News there are ways to try and reduce stress, which would lower the risk of "broken heart syndrome" and recommends family visits, even if they are virtual, as well as going for a walk in the morning or evening.