Taking care of your heart health and adopting healthier behaviors is more important than ever amid this COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Michael Kleven, primary care physician at 4C Medical Group, part of OptumCare, said heart disease and other conditions that can impact the heart, including high blood pressure and diabetes, are common. About one in three people who have contracted COVID-19 has cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals COVID-19 patients who have underlying conditions including cardiovascular disease are six times more likely to be hospitalized. The CDC reports these patients also are 12 times more likely to die than patients who do not have any chronic health problems.

It is important for people who have cardiovascular risk factors, heart disease or a history of heart attack or stroke to obtain vaccines as soon as they are available due to their higher chance of suffering complications from COVID-19, according to the American Heart Association. Kleven recommends patients talk to their primary care provider or other medical professional to ask any questions about the vaccine.

Living a healthier, longer life starts with taking care of the heart. Kleven recommends people find support, especially to end unhealthy habits including smoking, which is a major cause of cardiovascular diseases. Kleven also urges everyone to engage in physical activities they enjoy, including biking, swimming, yoga, walking or tennis. Regular moderate to vigorous physical activity decreases heart disease by 30 to 40 percent and stroke by 25 percent, according to the American Heart Association. Talk to your doctor before significantly boosting your activity level.