Many more of us could have diabetes and high blood pressure if we don't lose the extra weight we've put on during lockdown, a renowned cardiologist at Keele University has warned.
Professor Mamas Mamas, of Cardiology at Keele University, fears those of us who fail to lose the extra pounds will suffer "significant health implications" such as higher blood pressure and diabetes.
Professor Mamas, Head of the Keele Cardiovascular Research Group, has warned that this could make us more vulnerable to heart attacks and strokes.
"This is a big ticking time bomb for our nation's health—one that hasn't had as much attention as it should have," he said. "Permanent weight gain will have a long-term impact on our health. If we don't lose this extra weight, or we get into bad habits that continue after lockdown, many more of us could have diabetes and high blood pressure. This, ultimately, makes us more at risk of suffering heart attacks and strokes."
Professor Mamas has urged Britons to see the relative easing of lockdown "as an opportunity to adopt a healthier lifestyle." His comments come after a study showed that 48% of us believe we have put on weight and 20% of us admit to drinking more alcohol during the lockdown.
Professor Mamas, who has been named as one of the "Nation's Lifesavers" in recognition of his excellent contributions to advancing healthcare, also argued that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, social media has saved countless lives and transformed the way doctors practice medicine.
He said doctors across the globe now use social media to learn from each other about how to treat COVID-19 and many other diseases.
He said there are "numerous examples" from doctors on social media of how COVID-19 had affected their patients' hearts and circulation, as well as recommendations on how to treat patients with COVID-19 coming from China and Italy, which has led to changes in how patients are treated and how health service are structured during the pandemic.
"Social media has broken down cultural barriers to fight against a common enemy," Professor Mamas said. "It has saved countless lives and changed the way we practice medicine, particularly when faced with COVID-19—a disease that we as doctors know little or nothing about, have no experience in and don't even know the best way to treat."
Professor Mamas said that despite not being peer-reviewed, content posted on social media "remains the best platform for up-to-date information."
Provided by Keele University