Do coronavirus and high blood pressure has a link? It is possible for a person suffering from high blood pressure to get COVID-19. So, you need to take ample precautions to protect yourself during the pandemic. It is better to avoid getting the infection as you can face severe complications. Follow the guidelines suggested by the doctors and your country’s health department. By adhering to the guidelines, you can keep yourself safe.
Learn About Coronavirus And High Blood Pressure
The novel coronavirus has affected millions of people across the globe. The infectious disease that first started in China in late 2019 has now spread to almost all countries around the world. While some of the countries have successfully stopped the spread of the infections, others are still struggling to stop the virus from spreading to others. The virus first affects your lungs and causes symptoms like shortness of breath. The other signs are similar to the flu. In severe cases, you can experience pneumonia, which can lead to death. The WHO has declared the disease as a pandemic. People who are exposed to the virus can develop symptoms after the incubation period. The symptoms of the illness include:
- High Fever
- Shortness of breath
Transmission Of Coronavirus
The transmission of COVID-19 occurs when respiratory droplets due to coughing, sneezing or talking from an infected person spread to others. So, a person standing next to a sick person or caring for them are susceptible to the viral infection. But, people who come in a high-risk category like suffering blood pressure, diabetes, kidney problems, heart issues, or other underlying medical conditions can catch the disease easier compared to a healthy person. People who suffer from hypertension or blood pressure face the enhanced risk of major heart problems, kidney diseases, and stroke. So, there is a link that exists between coronavirus and high blood pressure. You need to get treatment for hypertension to reduce the risk associated with the disease. It significantly lowers dangerous outcomes.
Why Do You Need To Maintain Caution With Coronavirus And High Blood Pressure?
Why do health experts advise people to take extra care when you have high blood pressure? It is because of the bad effects happening due to the combination of coronavirus and high blood pressure. The research in different countries around the world indicates that when you suffer from hypertension, you are more like to:
- Get infection from SARS-CoV-2 (novel coronavirus)
- Suffer from worse symptoms due to the infection
- Die from the coronavirus infection
With no effective medication available to treat the viral infection or vaccination to prevent the virus from attacking your body, you can contract the disease easily when you suffer from hypertension. The health departments around the world are trying tirelessly to prevent the infection from spreading to unaffected people from infected people. The guidelines are issued to prevent such scenarios along with limiting the potential carriers who may not show any symptoms. Healthy and young people normally suffer from a mild to moderate form of illness. Some people experience no signs at all. But, it does not mean they cannot spread the disease. Such people may not become aware of the disease and avoid following any health guidelines. It can lead to people coming under high-risk categories catch the disease and suffer from serious outcomes. So, people with co-morbid conditions can suffer from severe complications like death.
People At High Risk Having Both Coronavirus And High Blood Pressure
The governments and health agencies across the world are trying to keep the infection under control. So, they are issuing instructions to people on how to protect themselves the best. People who adhere to the guidelines can prevent the infection from triggering severe complications. According to data coming from countries worst affected by COVID-19, coronavirus and high blood pressure can trigger serious complications. In several countries, the infection catches people (up to 50%) who have underlying health issues like hypertension, diabetes, cancer, or lung diseases. It is also observed that 99% of people with underlying health conditions suffer severe complications, even death. Among them, 76% of the people who suffer from serious complications have high blood pressure. Scientists have also determined the risk of people suffering from high blood pressure have 6% more chances of succumbing to death compared to others.
People At High Risk Of Developing Coronavirus And High Blood Pressure
Some people are more at risk of developing complications due to coronavirus and high blood pressure. So, if you or your loved ones come under the high-risk category, then you need to take special care. Such people need attention and care. So, maintain caution with the following people:
People who are over sixty years of age and suffer from hypertension can face poor outcomes due to catching COVID-19 flu. Hypertension itself causes bad health issues in older people. Therefore, it is essential to stay vigilant in following the guidelines suggested by the doctor.
Other Medical Conditions
A previous heart condition, kidney disease, or stroke can result in severe complications when you develop coronavirus and high blood pressure. So, it is essential to follow the instruction suggested by the doctor. Take all the prescribed medications without fail. Seek medical assistance if necessary to prevent issues.
Lipid Disorders And Diabetes
Lipid disorders like cholesterol and high blood sugar levels are a common issue in people who suffer from hypertension. It makes you susceptible to infections and other diseases. So, you need to take doctor-prescribed medications. To reduce the risk associated with the condition, you need to include physical activity. Also, drink enough water to keep you hydrated and counteract the risk of heart complications and COVID-19.
People who have bad lungs due to asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease, or smoking (current or former) can face a high risk of suffering from COVID-19. It also increases the risk of complications. So, when you feel changes in the body, including the worsening of your lung symptoms like worsening of cough or trouble to breathe, then seek medical help as early as possible.
Link Between Coronavirus And High Blood Pressure
So, why do doctors believe people suffering from hypertension can face a high risk of catching coronavirus infection and suffer from serious complications due to it? It is because hypertension and other health conditions can weaken your immune system. A weak immune system cannot fight any virus effectively. According to the data available, two-thirds of the people above 60 years suffer from hypertension. So, aging and the weak immune system makes them vulnerable to the infection.
Can Blood Pressure Medications Make You Vulnerable To COVID-19?
Another theory exists that people with hypertension are at risk because of the medications they take to lower it. ACE inhibitors and ARBs (Angiotensin receptor blockers) are used to treat high BP. According to the theory both the medications raise ACE2 enzyme levels in your body to lower the blood pressure. The coronavirus can attach itself to ACE2 and affect the other healthy cells in the body. It is only a theory and no clear scientific evidence indicates the impact of the medications on the novel coronavirus. So, never stop taking the medications as you become vulnerable to the virus attack. Stopping the medication can also put you in the hospital for other serious issues like stroke or heart attack. So, follow the guidelines suggested by the doctor like:
- The medications suggested by the doctor to lower your blood pressure will cause no increased risk to your health. These medications are vital to maintaining a normal blood pressure level. It helps reduce the risk of serious complications like stroke, heart attack, or prevent worsening of other heart diseases.
- Before stopping or changing the medications, you need to consult the doctor. The medication change is suggested only after a thorough assessment by the doctor. The latest scientific evidence as well as shared decision-making is the key to add or removing the treatments.
Other Medications Increasing Risk Of Coronavirus And High Blood Pressure
Some habits or taking over-the-counter medications or supplements can increase your blood pressure. So, you need to consult your doctor regarding any medications or additional supplements you take. Here are the key points to maintain caution:
Check With Your Doctor About The OTC Medications
Some common pain medications like NSAIDs can increase your blood pressure. Similarly, decongestants can also raise BP. So, if you have hypertension, then limit or avoid using such medications. Talk with your doctor regarding the right OTC medications you can take.
Prescriptions medications for mental health, oral birth control, corticosteroids, immunosuppressant, and cancer medicines can increase blood pressure. So, consult with your doctor regarding changing the dose or other steps to make sure it is under control. Monitoring blood pressure is essential to prevent any complications.
Alcohol And Caffeine
If you have hypertension, then limit caffeine and alcohol as they can raise the blood pressure levels. So, limit or avoid drinking both.
The natural supplements and home remedies can affect your blood pressure and put you at risk of infection. So, try to avoid herbal supplements like licorice as they can cause hypertension.
Complications Caused Due To Coronavirus And High Blood Pressure
Why do people who suffer from blood pressure need to maintain caution? It is because when they fail to adhere to the safety guidelines, it results in catching COVID-19. It can cause the following complications:
Pneumonia is the most common complication associated with the virus. It is the infection affecting either one or both the lungs. The SARS-CoV-2 can cause inflammation in the alveoli (air sacs) present in the lungs. Due to the inflammation, the alveoli fill with pus or fluid. So, you find it difficult to breathe properly.
Damage To Cardiovascular System
Hypertension can damage your heart. So, people who suffer from the problem are vulnerable to heart disease and heart failure. It is because the high-pressure levels damage the arteries. So, it reduces the blood flow to the heart. So, to pump enough blood, your heart has to work harder. Due to excess work on your heart, it weakens the organ. The weakness gradually worsens to a point where the heart fails to pump enough blood rich in oxygen to the body. When coronavirus attacks a person with a damaged heart due to hypertension, it can lead to severe complications. It causes inflammation of your heart muscles, which leads to a condition called myocarditis. The highly serious condition makes it harder for your heart to pump blood.
Some patients have plaque buildup in their arteries. So, when such people catch coronavirus, the virus can make the plaques to break apart. It can result in a heart attack. Different studies in the past have indicated the high risk of a heart attack in people who suffer from respiratory illness caused by flu or other strains (types) of coronavirus.
Another risk factor caused due to the combined effect of coronavirus and high blood pressure is the cytokine storm. Your weak immune system can lead to low viral clearance. The diminished T-cell function can cause reduced elimination of harmful pathogens. So, you face high chances of severe inflammation. It results in a cytokine storm. It is the most severe form of auto-immunity. Due to the problem, your immune system starts to harm your normal cells instead of killing the virus.
Steps To Take To Avoid Risks Of Coronavirus And High Blood Pressure
What steps do you need to avoid risks caused due to coronavirus and high pressure? You need to maintain caution. Try to follow the steps suggested below to avoid your health problems from escalating to dangerous levels:
Stock Pile Medications
You need to stock enough medicine needed to treat hypertension and other health conditions. Also, stock the medications needed to manage fever, cough, and other discomforts after getting advice from the doctor. It is useful when you get sick.
You need to limit contact with others as much as possible. So, stay at home. Avoid going out in public. If you get sick, then stay in a room and avoid contact with others in your family.
Wash Your Hands
Wash your hands as often as possible with soap and water. When you fail to get soap and water, then use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol in it.
Clean And Disinfect
You need to clean and disinfect all the high-risk surfaces like doorknobs and countertops. Also clean your clothes and other items you use properly.
You need to follow the instructions suggested by the doctor regarding taking or stopping the medications. Hydrate by drinking enough fluids to keep the water balance in your body. Get rest and follow all the pointers provided by your doctor to avoid any complications. Take medications to ease the discomfort.
You need to keep up the appointments with the doctor. It is possible to connect with your doctor virtually. So, you can avoid leaving your home and get the necessary information with the virtual visits.
Managing Coronavirus And High Blood Pressure
If you catch coronavirus infection, then you need to consult your doctor. Never change or alter the dosage of the regular medications you take. You need to stay at your home, hydrate yourself, take fever or pain medications to overcome the viral infection. But, visit the emergency room immediately when your symptoms like chest discomfort, cough, and shortness of breath worsen.
Emergency Hospital Visit
Hypertension can put you at risk of other serious problems like stroke and heart attack. So, when you see the signs of such emergency health issues, then see a doctor immediately. Since such complications have less impact when you get timely medical intervention, visit an emergency room. Fast medical access will help you survive a cardiovascular event. So, never let the fear of COVID-19 pull you back from getting the necessary medical assistance.
Prevent Complications Caused By Coronavirus And High Blood Pressure
Can you prevent the complications caused by a coronavirus and high blood pressure? Yes, it is possible by staying vigilant. Here are some key steps you need to take to prevent any unwanted serious issues:
Maintain Proper Distancing
With the countries easing the restrictions, you can now go out. But, use freedom wisely. Always go out only in case of emergencies. When you go out maintain social distancing. It means you have to maintain at least six feet difference from the next person. It will help you avoid virus exposure when any infected person coughs or sneezes.
Clean Your Hands
Frequent hand cleaning is essential to wash away all the harmful pathogens accumulated in your hands. So, you need to wash your hands with soap and water. Follow proper handwashing techniques like rubbing your hands for at least twenty seconds before washing it off. Clean your hands before touching your face, cooking food, or eating. Also, wash your hands after handling groceries, using the toilet, and touching high-touch surfaces.
Opt For Hand Sanitizers
If you have no access to soap and water, then you need to get rid of the germs from your hands by using a hand sanitizer. Use one with at least 60% alcohol or more to kill all the harmful germs.
Use A Face Mask
When you go out, opt for a protective cover for your face. Using a face mask will help control the spread of infection. You can choose a surgical face mask as you come under the high-risk category of people who can get the infection.
Use Cleaners And Disinfectants
You need to keep all the surfaces in your home clean. It is because coronavirus can survive in surface (like metal) for a long time. So, it increases the chances of transmission. You need to clean all the high-touch surfaces using a cleaner. Then, use disinfectant to wipe the surfaces,
Stay Away From Sick People
You need to isolate yourself from sick people due to the high chances of getting the infection. If someone in your family is suffering from the disease, then stay away from them. If possible you need to shift to another place. Else, avoid contact with the sick person.
Continue Taking Blood Pressure Medications
If you have hypertension, then you come under the high risk of people who can get COVID-19 and its serious complication. So, to lower your risk, you need to continue taking the blood pressure medications suggested by the doctor. Use prescription medications like ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors and ARBs (angiotensin-receptor blockers). Consult your doctor regarding the different classes of drugs used to reduce hypertension that you can use safely.
Measure Blood Pressure
To reduce the risk caused due to coronavirus and high blood pressure, you need to keep hypertension under control. So, you need to measure it regularly, Do you know that home BP recording is superior compared to isolated recording in a doctor’s chamber or clinic. The use of a certified and calibrated instrument available online or chemist can help you record pressure levels with accuracy. These instruments can record three times within a specified duration. So, you can get an average reading out of it compared to the single reading of the old reading system. If you see a low or high BP recording, you need to contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. You never have to self-treat for the condition. So, get suggestions from the doctor for minor adjustments to reduce the risk.
Include Physical Activities
You have to include regular physical activities to reduce hypertension. Including at least thirty minutes of physical activities, a day can lower your risk of coronavirus and high blood pressure. On average, you need to complete at least 8,000 steps.
To lower high blood pressure levels, doctors suggest the DASH diet. It stands for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension. When you follow the site, you have to follow the suggested guidelines like:
- Include more fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
- Choose low-fat dairy foods.
- You need to cut back food containing high saturated fat, trans-fat, and cholesterol.
- Consume nuts, poultry, fish, and whole-grain food.
- Restrict your intake of salt (sodium).
- Try to avoid red meats, sweets, and sugary drinks.
- Limit sodium, sweets, sugary drinks, and red meats.
Several studies indicate the effectiveness of the DASH diet. According to several research studies, people who followed the DASH diet reduced their pressure levels within two weeks.
Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol in excess as they can increase your hypertension and the risk of other diseases.
When you feel extreme stress, it affects your blood pressure levels. So, you need to keep your pressure levels in control by practicing some techniques like meditation and yoga. Breathing exercises and other stress-relieving techniques can keep you calm.
You need to take your yearly flu vaccination and pneumonia vaccination. Talk to your doctor regarding the vaccination you need to take to reduce the risk associated with the contagious infection.
When you become more vigilant you can control the risk caused due to coronavirus and high blood pressure. With proper care and caution, you can reduce the mortality rate of a treatable disease. So, adhere to all the guidelines suggested by the government or health agencies.View Article Sources