COVID-19 Is More Dangerous to High Blood Pressure Patients
Millions of people are on a variety number of BP medication to help reduce more normal blood pressure. Yet, as studies have shown, the virus makes these people more vulnerable and can lead to more serious results.
According to the CDC in the USA, 72% of those hospitalized for the virus were people over 65 and using BP medication for high blood pressure. This finding is also reflected in studies in Italy. It suggests that these BP medications are more of the reason these people are ill rather than any underlying condition they have. That is a big switch from weeks ago, when the underlying condition was the suspect.
In the USA, over 100 million take these medications, ACE inhibitors, under a variety of generic names. The dilemma for the patient is what to do? Does one not take it or reduce the dosage to lessen the chance the virus will hit them?
Researchers are zeroing in on the enzyme ACE2 that makes hormones to lower BP by widening blood vessels. Studies show the virus targets the ACE2 among others and can attach itself onto it and then penetrate it. So, the more enzymes one has, the more targets for the virus. This increases the chance the infection is more severe than others. Case studies from China on the same issue were inconclusive.
Doctors advise that those suffering with severe hypertension BP or heart issues should continue with the dose given. For those with much milder forms of HBP, the debate is how to advise. Some say continue with the dosage, others say reduce it.
While there is no real consensus on this issue within the medical communities across the globe, everyone does agree that the milder cases could use alternative medications to lower BP or by reducing the dosage as a precaution until results are conclusive.
Normal BP is 120\80. Mild cases of HBP are from 130-140\80. More severe cases are above those.