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Hypertension may raise your risk of coronavirus

Benita Zahn
Created: March 31, 2020 06:03 PM

The American Heart Association says if you have high blood pressure, take every precaution to keep it under control. That's because hypertension is linked with an increased risk of severe complications if you contract coronavirus - especially among the elderly.

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As the number of deaths from coronavirus soars in New York, the concern about staying healthy climbs - and needs to be laser-focused among the elderly and those with hypertension. That's a blood pressure above 130/80.

Based on figures from China, they're at increased risk of dying from coronavirus vs. those with normal blood pressure.
That's got the American Heart Association reminding all hypertension patients to keep their pressure in check and don't stop taking your prescribed medications.

The American Heart Association is also reminding these folks to avoid over the counter medications that can raise your blood pressure like decongestants, pain relievers like naproxen and ibuprofen and steer clear of alcohol and caffeine as they can also raise your blood pressure.

However, what is it about hypertension that raises the death rate from coronavirus? Cardiologist Lance Sullenberger says it's not fully clear.

“You know, I don't think we know specifically the answer to that question - whether or not hypertension itself has caused some long-term changes within the heart muscle, which make it more susceptible. Maybe there are more receptors for the virus itself or whether it's just a marker of somebody with underlying diseases such as diabetes and obesity - which then puts them at a higher risk category when they develop COVID-19 infection,” said Sullenberger.

So the prescription we're all given - keep your distance and wash your hands, especially needs to be taken to heart among this group.

There are also new findings about the impact coronavirus has on heart health, even if you don't have cardiovascular disease. Hear more about them, by watching the video of Benita Zahn's story.


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