NOTE: COVID-19 is an evolving public health emergency. The following information is based on currently available guidance, however, is it not intended to replace guidance from state and local health authorities or your doctor. Always consult your doctor for any health questions you may have.
It can be hard to stay on top of all the news about the coronavirus pandemic and the various symptoms and risk factors. How is blood pressure related to the risk of COVID-19? Should I keep taking my blood pressure medications? Is it too risky to go to the doctor or hospital during the pandemic? SunTech Medical, the leader in blood pressure technology and solutions, has put together the following resources to help you answer those questions and more.
Is high blood pressure a risk factor for COVID-19?
Research is still in the very early stages of determining the relationship between blood pressure and COVID-19. Early research shows that certain comorbidities, including hypertension (or high blood pressure) and cardiovascular disease, may increase fatality rates or risks of severe symptoms in those patients with COVID-19. There may also be some early evidence to show that COVID-19 can cause cardiac complications in patients. Patients with underlying cardiovascular disease are likely at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 and have a worse prognosis.
More information about cardiovascular symptoms and COVID-19:
What should I do if I have high blood pressure?
Since hypertension can impact your risk of COVID-19 complications, it is especially important for those with high blood pressure to follow guidelines about social distancing, hand washing, not touching your face, and other practices to limit exposure to COVID-19. There are COVID-19 prevention guidelines published on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC Resource: How to Protect Yourself and Others
Should I take my blood pressure medication?
There are theories around the impact that certain blood pressure medications, such as ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) might have on COVID-19. A statement released jointly by the American Heart Association (AHA), the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA), and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) recommends that patients who have been prescribed these medications continue taking them as prescribed (American Heart Association, 2020). Patients who are on these medications and who contract COVID-19 will be evaluated at that time. Always follow your doctor’s recommendation regarding your medications. Keep track of your remaining stock of prescribed medications and make sure you have enough for an extended time. It may be helpful to find out if you can get refills of medications without leaving home.
Given the risks, should I go to the doctor for my regular appointments?
Adhering to social isolation measures is important for restricting the spread of COVID-19. However, is it also important to continue to manage any ongoing conditions, including cardiac disease and other cardiovascular issues. Patients should avoid cancelling appointments and should use telehealth resources where possible (American College of Cardiology, 2020). If you suspect you may be having a heart attack, stroke, or other medical emergency, you or someone nearby should immediately call 911 and seek medical assistance.
Want more information?
SunTech Medical recommends the following resources to learn more about hypertension and COVID-19:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Page
- American College of Cardiology’s COVID-19 Hub
- American Heart Association’s COVID-19 Page