What heart patients should know about coronavirus

What heart patients should know about coronavirus

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COVID-19, which was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, has sickened more than 200,000 people and killed thousands around the globe.

For people with underlying heart issues, the concerns are serious. It appears elderly persons with coronary heart disease or hypertension are more likely to be infected and to develop more severe symptoms. In February, The American College of Cardiology issued a bulletin to warn patients about the potential increased risk and to encourage “additional, reasonable precautions.”

We’re still learning how COVID-19 affects people with existing medical conditions. However, information to date suggests that people with heart and circulatory diseases appear to be at higher risk of complications caused by the virus. This includes people with cerebrovascular disease, which involves problems with the blood supply to the brain, such as stroke.

Based on early reports, 40% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had cardiovascular disease or cerebrovascular disease (which refers to blood flow in the brain, such as stroke), according to the bulletin. Different areas of the country are seeing different levels of virus activity, and the CDC is advising those most at risk to stay home whenever possible, to avoid crowds and limit contact with others.

The virus could affect heart disease patients in several ways

The virus’s main target is the lungs. But that could affect the heart, especially a diseased heart, which has to work harder to get oxygenated blood throughout the body, an adviser on the ACC bulletin. “In general, you can think of it as something that is taxing the system as a whole.”

People who are vulnerable to a more severe infection such as older people, those with weakened immune systems or long-term medical situations, including heart and circulatory diseases should be extra vigilant. This includes following current government advice to self-isolate if they experience mild symptoms and being mindful of their risk of infection. It’s also important people continue to take their medications as usual.

It’s understandable that newspaper headlines like this can make people feel uncertain about their blood pressure and heart failure medicines, especially at such an unsettling time. The medical profession has a number of expert groups who have reviewed the scientific information and they are agreed that there is a lack of evidence to support speculation that ACE inhibitors and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers raise the chances of severe COVID-19 infections.

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