There has been speculation on social media sites that people with hypertension should stop taking ACE-1 and ARB medications. To date, there hasn’t been any conclusive research on COVID-19 and hypertension, but based on statistical evidence there appears to be an association, as there does with age. According to webMD, in Italy 76% of people with COVID-19 also had hypertension, and the overall numbers indicate that other health conditions such as presence of cancer, diabetes and lung disease were common among people with COVID-19.
Although a causal relationship has not been confirmed, the theory is that hypertension medications including ACE inhibitors and ARB’s (angiotensin receptor blockers) raise levels of the enzyme ACE2 and the COVID-19 virus must attach itself to ACE2 to infect someone.
Hypertension damages the cardiovascular system. Higher pressures can reduce the flow of oxygenated blood, and the result is that the heart has to work harder and this can put a person with hypertension at higher risk.
Clinicians and scientists, including organizations such as: Hypertension Canada, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society and the European Society of Cardiology all recommend patients with hypertension do not stop taking their hypertension medications.
People should limit exposure to other people, wash their hands frequently, and disinfect surfaces to reduce the potential of contracting COVID-19.
Author: Mark Beaton, Sr. Vice President of Marketing