• Coronavirus can wreak havoc to the health of the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions
  • Doctors have identified one, which could lead to a rapid deterioration the moment infected by coronavirus
  • This condition is no other than high blood pressure 

High blood pressure is a condition characterized by your blood pressure being constantly too high. In this situation, your heart has to work double-time to pump blood throughout your body.

While such conditions may appear harmless at the outset, the force of your blood pushing against the artery walls may cause them to become narrow or stiff. In time, your arteries may also lose their stretchiness. When this happens, fatty materials can clog the arteries transporting blood to the heart, which may then lead to a heart attack. High blood pressure is a known heart disease risk factor. Today, however, there may be a new risk factor.

A New Risk Factor

Many medical experts believe that patients suffering from high blood pressure may be at an elevated risk of dying from coronavirus infection. Officially known as COVID-19, or coronavirus disease of 2019, this new virus strain from the large family of coronaviruses was first detected in China in December of 2019. Since then, it has infected more than a hundred thousand individuals in different countries and has claimed the lives of more than four thousand people.

high blood pressure and coronavirus
high blood pressure and coronavirus stevepb - Pixabay

The relationship of high blood pressure to an increased risk of dying from the virus was established by a top Chinese intensive care medical practitioner. The doctor has been treating patients who are critically ill with the infection since the middle of January.

Dr. Du Bin is the director of the Peking Union Medical College Hospital intensive care unit. He is among the many Chinese doctors working in Wuhan who observed that infected patients suffering from high blood pressure are at an increased risk of dying from the virus.

In an interview, Dr. Du revealed that almost 50% of a group of 170 patients who succumbed to the virus in January at Wuhan suffered from high blood pressure. Dr. Du said this is a very high ratio.

He also revealed what he learned from other doctors. Dr. Du said that based on information from fellow doctors and his own data, among the many underlying health conditions, hypertension is a highly dangerous factor during coronavirus infection. While no study has been conducted yet on this perceived relationship, he said it is their belief hypertension is a major factor that causes the patients’ conditions to deteriorate rapidly.

A Major Element

The relationship between high blood pressure and coronavirus, as revealed by Dr. Du seems to be at par with what has been discovered so far about risky underlying medical conditions. The British Heart Foundation said those with circulatory and heart conditions, both of which are high blood pressure complications, must be extra vigilant in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

Dr. Sonya Babu-Narayan, an Associate Medical Director with the BHF, said that there is still a lot to learn about how coronavirus affects patients with pre-existing medical conditions. She revealed, however, that recent information suggests people suffering from circulatory and heart diseases, including cerebrovascular disease, seem to be at a higher risk of life-threatening complications caused by a coronavirus.

In a similar vein, the American College of Cardiology has also issued a bulletin on the matter last month. The health body revealed in its bulletin that 40% of admitted COVID-19 patients suffer from cerebrovascular disease or cardiovascular disease.

This statistic does not mean people suffering from heart disease are more prone to coronavirus infection. It does show, however, that they are at higher risk of developing life-threatening complications once they got infected with COVID-19.