A top Chinese intensive care unit doctor says patients with hypertension are at a higher risk of dying from coronavirus.
Researchers have found that about six percent of patients – most aged 60 or older – with high blood pressure die from the new virus compared to healthy people.
There are currently about 80 million people in the US – one in every three – suffering from high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association.
So what can you if you become sickened to lower your chances of falling critically ill?
Health experts say to make sure you regularly take your medication (and stock up in case of shortages!) and exercise to strengthen your heart muscles.
Overall, coronavirus patients with high blood pressure have a fatality rate of six percent, a study published last month found (file image)
In the US, more than 680 people in at least 34 states have been infected and 26 people – in California, Florida and Washington – have died
The first study found that patients with underlying conditions had higher mortality rates – 10.5 percent for those with cardiovascular disease, 7.3 percent for diabetes, 6.3 percent for chronic respiratory disease, six percent for hypertension, and 5.6 percent for cancer.
In the new, very small-scale study, researchers examined 170 older patients who died in Wuhan in mid-January, Bloomberg reported.
Of those patients, nearly 50 percent had hypertension.
‘That’s a very high ratio,’ Dr Du Bin, director of the intensive care unit at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, told Bloomberg.
‘From what I was told by other doctors and the data I can see myself, among all the underlying diseases, hypertension is a key dangerous factor.’
So far, there are no studies that explain why this is the case, but many coronavirus patients with uncontrollable blood pressure go into severe distress before passing away.
Worldwide, more than 113,000 people have been infected and more than 4,000 people have died
‘We believe hypertension could be an important factor in causing patients to deteriorate, leading to a bad prognosis,’ Dr Du told Bloomberg.
However, a study published last year linked respiratory diseases with high blood pressure in the lungs.
Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia looked at patients with pulmonary hypertension, a type of high blood pressure that affects the lungs.
This conditions occurs when tiny blood vessels in the lungs become narrowed or blocked, which can be worsened by a respiratory disease such as COVID-19.
It can also cause the heart to weaken, so exercise regularly to strengthen your heart muscles.
A new study found that among patients in Wuhan, the fatality rate among patients with coroanvirus is as high as 50%. Pictured: Medical personnel attend to a patient in critical condition at a hospital in Wuhan, China, March 1
Doctors recommend regularly taking your blood pressure medication and exercising to strengthen heart muscles. Pictured: A patient is loaded into an ambulance at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, March 9
In the US, more than 50 percent of the 80 million adults with hypertension are people aged 60 and above.
That’s the same age at which an increasing risk of the disease starts and it only continues with age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Officials encouraged the elderly to stock up on food and medications and to avoid going outside as the coronavirus spreads.
‘Make sure you have supplies on hand like routine medications for blood pressure and diabetes, and over the counter medicines and medical supplies to treat fever and other symptoms,’ Dr Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a call to reporters on Monday.
Worldwide, more than 113,000 have been infected in more than 100 countries and more than 4,000 people have died.
In the US, more than 680 people have been infected in at least 34 states and 26 people – in California, Florida and Washington – have died.
Several colleges across the country – including the University of Washington, Columbia, Fordham and Princeton – have canceled in-person classes and will be holding online classes.