Are patients with hypertension at increased risk to get coronavirus
No, probably not. Hypertension was commonly seen in patients who had severe COVID-19, mainly because the chance of high blood pressure in the elderly is more, this looks a pure association.
It is true that hypertension is the most common comorbidity seen in COVID-19 patients developing respiratory distress.
Among people with Hypertension is there an increased risk of severe illness or complications once infected?
The majority (80%) of people diagnosed with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms of a respiratory infection (fever, sore throat, cough) and make full recovery.
Some of the people with diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases including Heart Failure (weak heart) may develop more severe symptoms and complications. Therefore extra care is advised for these patients.
How can high blood pressure affect risk for COVID-19?
High blood pressure can increase your risk for more severe symptoms if you get COVID-19.
First, the older you are, the higher your risk of high blood pressure and other chronic conditions like chronic lung disease and moderate to severe asthma, Diabetes, Chronic kidney disease and Liver disease, Older age and having one or more of these conditions may mean that your immune system isn’t working as well.
This can make it harder for your body to fight off viruses and increase your risk for severe illness if you get COVID-19.
It is unclear whether uncontrolled blood pressure is a risk factor for acquiring COVID-19, or whether controlled blood pressure among patients with hypertension is or is not less of a risk factor.
Should I be worried about blood pressure medications and COVID-19?
- International society of Hypertension strongly recommend that the routine use of ACE-Inhibitors or ARBs to treat raised blood pressure should continue and should not be influenced by concerns about COVID-19 infection.
- There is as yet no evidence that hypertension is related to outcomes of COVID-19, or that ACE inhibitor or ARB use is harmful, or for that matter beneficial, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Use of these agents should be maintained for the control of blood pressure, and they should not be discontinued, at least on the basis of current evidence at this time.
- In experimental studies, both ACE inhibitors and ARBs have been shown to reduce severe lung injury in certain viral pneumonias, and it has been speculated that these agents could be beneficial in COVID-19
- After a COVID-19 infection, people seem to have lower levels of ACE2 receptors — but ACE inhibitors and ARBs increase those levels. Some researchers suggest that those additional ACE2 receptors — especially those that float around in the blood and aren’t attached to cells — may intercept viruses and prevent them from entering cells. This could help protect the lungs from damage.
How to control Blood pressure during this covid 19 pandemic?
General measures to control high blood pressure should be kept in mind like avoidance of smoking and excess drinking, regular physical activity, consumption of less salt, and taking medicines regularly.
Please modify your out-door activities according to the norms of social-distancing.
If you are a non-vegetarian, you can continue to be so. Increasing the fibre and protein content of the diet and more vegetables and fruits in diet is advisable.
What are the important steps you can do to prevent acquiring or spreading infection?
1. Social distancing –
a. Avoid contact with someone who shows symptoms of possible COVID-19 – anyone having a cold or cough or fever.
b. Avoid non-essential travel and use of public transport.
c. Avoid public places, crowds and large family get together. Keep in touch with friends and relatives using phone, internet, and social media.
d. Avoid routine visits to hospitals / laboratory for minor problems, contact hospital or clinic by phone or helpline number if possible. If you are regularly checking INR and adjusting blood thinning medicines, please contact the doctor over phone if possible and try and avoid a hospital as much as possible.
2. Hand hygiene.
a. Avoid handshakes and touching face with hands.
b. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently – do this for at least 20-30 seconds and systematically to clean all parts of the hand
c. Alcohol based hand-sanitisers are also useful.
d. Avoid touching possibly contaminated areas/objects – Public toilet doors, door handles, etc.