More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure according to the American Heart Association and a recent study published in the European Heart Journal finds those patients also have twice the risk of dying from COVID-19.
Researchers studied records of over 2,800 patients treated in Wuhan, China. One of the study's lead authors says nearly half of the patients who died had high blood pressure, which was a much higher percentage compared to those who only had mild COVID-19 symptoms.
The group also looked at high blood pressure medicines. Some doctors feared ACE-2 inhibitions and ARBs could make it easier for the virus to infect cells, but the study found the opposite, based on their findings.
Researchers suggest patients not discontinue or change their usual anti-hypertensive treatment unless instructed by a doctor. They say it is important for those with high blood pressure to realize their increased risk, to take good care of themselves during this pandemic, and if they are infected with coronavirus, they may need medical attention.
The CDC says others at higher risk for severe COVID-19 infection include those over the age of 65,anyone with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions and people who are immunocompromised.