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Why do people with high blood pressure seem to do worse with COVID-19?

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It’s true. People with high blood pressure, heart disease or heart failure do seem to get sicker with COVID-19 compared to healthy people. While pneumonia is the most common complication of the virus, it can also damage the cardiovascular system.

There had been concern that the 2 common classes of blood pressure medicines, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) .might increase your risk for COVID-19, but new studies discount that concern and in some cases, showed benefit. For background, the COVID-19 virus enters human cells through a receptor called angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2).

In theory, ACE or ARB medications could impact the ACE2 in people sick with COVID-19. Doctors had feared that drugs that make more of these doorways could make COVID-19 infections more likely or more dangerous for patients. One study found that patients who were taking ACE inhibitors appeared to have a survival benefit. The odds of dying were about two-thirds lower in patients taking ACE inhibitors than those who were not. T In addition, taking a statin medication to control cholesterol was also linked to improved survival, as was female sex. T

aking an angiotensin receptor blocker, or ARB, appeared to have no significant impact on a patient’s odds of dying. If you’re on an ACE or ARB, do not stop the medication. Talk to your doctor to get the latest recommendations.

The Heart Failure Society of America

The American College of Cardiology

The European Society of Cardiology

The Nephrology Journal Club 

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on October 13, 2020

The Heart Failure Society of America

The American College of Cardiology

The European Society of Cardiology

The Nephrology Journal Club 

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on October 13, 2020

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