Can Heart Medications Increase the Risk of Severe Illness From COVID-19?

Posted on: May 20, 2020

Cardiology/Heart Houston, TX

As a cardiology/heart patient, you are already cautious when flu season hits. With the COVID-19 pandemic, make sure you heighten your defenses. Your condition could make you more susceptible to getting the coronavirus. You may also have more severe symptoms. You may have heard that some heart drugs can pose problems with the disease. You need to understand the truth and error of these assertions.

Understanding COVID-19

The novel coronavirus has affected virtually everyone on Earth. More than 1.5 million people have been infected with the disease, with more than 100,000 deaths occurring. People spread the disease by coughing or sneezing droplets. A person can also become infected by touching infected surfaces and then rubbing hands on their eyes, mouth or nose. The most common side effects are fever, dry cough and difficulty breathing. Though most people recover without a doctor’s care, more at-risk people require intensive hospital attention.

Cardiology/heart patients are among the most vulnerable

COVID-19 can infect people of all ages and backgrounds. Older people over the age of 60 are in a more at-risk group. People with underlying health conditions should also be wary of the disease. People with heart disease are in this latter group. Such patients should be vigilant at staying away from public places. Washing hands will protect people from the disease. People should also maintain social distancing of 6 feet.

The rumors

Commonly, people fill social media with false information and unfounded medical statements. This is especially true during emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Stories have circulated stating that heart medication can increase a person’s risk of getting COVID-19. The most important thing a cardiology/heart patient can do during this time is turn to reputable sources. Instead of taking heart health advice from someone on Facebook, people should talk to their health care provider. Competent, respected organizations such as the American Heart Association, the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control can also dispel these rumors.

The claim

Recent warnings went out claiming that COVID-19 would bind to ACE2 receptors in lower respiratory tracts. ACE2 inhibitors are common drugs for cardiology/heart patients. The medication controls blood pressure and prevents heart attacks. Research on animals showed a possible link between these drugs and the rise in COVID-19 cases. A doctor in Louisiana published a paper stating that a pool of 1,100 coronavirus patients with heart issues were all using ACE2 inhibitors.

The verdict

The medical community denounces these claims. Experts say cardiology/heart medications do not put a person more at risk of getting COVID-19. There is not enough information to support this theory. In fact, doctors urge such patients to continue taking their medication. Practicing wise prevention measures can help these patients avoid the disease.

Take good care

If you are a cardiology/heart patient, continue to follow your doctor’s directions. Take your medication and eat right. Be cautious about going out in public and in what you touch. Your condition may make you more vulnerable to COVID-19. Your medication should not increase your symptoms if you get the disease.

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