Is hypertension a risk group for coronavirus? Understand!

With the emergence of the new coronavirus (Covid-19), some risk groups for the disease were also determined , based on case analyzes. Among these groups, there is that of hypertensive people.

Millions of Brazilians suffer from hypertension ( high blood pressure ). It is a very common condition, but if not monitored with medical help it can lead to complications.

Understand why those who have this chronic disease are at higher risk:

What is high blood pressure (hypertension)?

Hypertension, popularly known as high blood pressure, is a chronic disease and can often not manifest symptoms.

In general, it is considered that the patient is hypertensive when he has blood pressure greater than 140 x 90 mmHg (millimeter per mercury) – or 14 by 9. These values ​​are applicable to people over 18 years old.

It is estimated that 25% of the Brazilian population suffers from the condition, highlighting that when it comes to people over 60 years of age the percentage exceeds 50%.

The causes of this disorder are, in general, related to factors such as:

  • Family history;
  • Obesity ;
  • Diabetes;
  • Excessive sodium consumption;
  • Smoking ;
  • Excessive alcoholic beverages;
  • Sedentary lifestyle;
  • Stress .

It is also worth noting that hypertension is a risk factor for problems such as stroke (stroke), heart attacks and kidney failure.

Does high blood pressure increase the risk of getting coronavirus?

The way to get infected with the new coronavirus is the same for everyone. That is, it occurs through the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth or eyes.

It is possible to catch the virus either from direct contact with infected people, through physical touch or droplets (saliva, sneeze, etc.), or indirectly – through contaminated surfaces, for example.

Therefore, regardless of other diseases (such as high blood pressure), the form of contamination is the same and the risk is not higher due to a pre-existing disease .

In general, it is necessary to take care of immunity, as people with low immunity do have a higher risk of contamination – and those who suffer from chronic diseases are more susceptible to having this problem .

So, if you are hypertensive, you should follow the recommendations of WHO (World Health Organization) as well as other people. I.e:

  • Leave the house only when necessary;
  • Wear protective masks;
  • Avoid crowds and physical contact with other people;
  • Properly sanitize your hands;
  • Sanitize everything that comes from outside your home: shopping at the supermarket, pharmacy, parcels, food, etc.

That way, you will be preventing yourself, which is even more important if you suffer from hypertension – considering that the disease does not increase the risk of getting the new coronavirus, but it can increase the complications in case of contamination. Understand the reason:

Why is hypertension a risk group?

Some medical studies and analyzes indicate theories to explain the higher Covid-19 mortality rate in people suffering from hypertension. Considering that, for the general population, the rate is approximately 3% (varying between each country) and in the case of hypertensive patients, it rises to approximately 10%.

Among the theories, based on case analyzes, is the idea that the drugs used for high blood pressure may favor the action of the new coronavirus.

This is because, to infect cells, this virus (Sars-Cov-2) uses the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) – present in the cells of the lung, kidney and other organs.

Thus, some drugs used for hypertension raise the levels of these enzymes and, thus, could favor the replication of the virus in the body.

However, it is necessary to make it clear that there is no study to prove this theory, they are only medical assumptions based on some cases. So, for example, it would not be prudent to stop treatment for hypertension in order to try to “prevent” yourself against the new coronavirus.

What are the most common complications in hypertensive patients with Covid-19?

As mentioned, mortality rates from the new coronavirus are higher in hypertensive people. But what complications lead to this fact?

Experts indicate that patients with high blood pressure tend to have a hardening of the arteries, in addition to other complications that compromise the flow of blood to the lungs – so that they become more debilitated.

In addition, we know that it is from the bloodstream that antibodies can act in the body. Thus, a compromised circulation makes it difficult for the defense cells to access the areas affected by the infection.

It is also worth mentioning that these complications also occur more frequently in those who have already suffered a heart attack or stroke, in addition to people with obstructions in the arteries, heart failure, atheroma plaques or other chest ailments.

How to protect yourself?

The contamination occurs in the same way in all people, however, those who have high blood pressure problems need to intensify care against Sars-Cov-2 (new coronavirus).

If you fall into this risk group, the most prudent thing to do is:

  • Be very careful and strictly follow preventive measures – wash hands, clean surfaces and objects, maintain social distance;
  • Strive to maintain a very healthy routine – have a good diet, get enough sleep, stay active and avoid alcohol and tobacco;
  • Continue your treatment for hypertension;
  • Keep track of your cardiac exams – especially in case of Covid-19 symptoms.

In addition, in the event of contamination and the need for hospital treatment, it is very opportune for physicians to include a professional specializing in cardiology to accompany the person infected by the virus.

The whole world is facing the pandemic of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) and many people are fighting for their lives. This reinforces the need to protect ourselves and follow the guidelines of the WHO (World Health Organization) regarding preventive measures.

If you are part of the risk group for people suffering from hypertension (or another group), reinforce your care and care for your health first.

Keep following the Healthy Minute for more health information!