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This One Condition Makes You Twice As Likely to Die From COVID-19

Nearly half of the U.S. suffers from a condition making them more likely to die from coronavirus.
Male patient wearing face mask and feeling chest pain while being at the hospital during coronavirus epidemic

According to recent research, about one-fifth of us have at least one preexisting condition that puts us at risk for a severe coronavirus infection. Amongst underlying health conditions, there are some that prove more deadly than others when combined with the highly infectious virus. And, a new study claims that one, in particular, can double your chances of death if you come into contact with coronavirus. 

Almost Half of Us Suffer From It

The research, published June 4 in European Heart Journal, concludes that hypertension—aka high blood pressure—increases your chance of mortality by a two-fold. According to the CDC, nearly half of adults in America, 45 percent, suffer from high blood pressure.  

"It is important that patients with high blood pressure realize that they are at increased risk of dying from COVID-19," study co-author Professor Ling Tao department of cardiology, Xijing Hospital in Xi'an explained in a press release. "They should take good care of themselves during this pandemic and they need more attention if they are infected with the coronavirus."

2,877 consecutive patients were analyzed as part of the study, with a mean age of 60. About 51% of patients were male. 29.5% of patients had a history of hypertension. It's important to note that those with a history of high blood pressure are not only likely to have a history of other risk factors, including stroke, diabetes, and renal failure, but are also more likely to be taking antihypertensive medications.

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The type of blood pressure medication doesn't significantly impact your chances of death.

Among patients with COVID-19 and hypertension, those who were treated for it were half as likely to die from coronavirus than those who were untreated. However, researchers were surprised to find that there wasn't a significant death risk discrepancy between those taking RAAS inhibitors to treat hypertension and those who relied on non-RAAS inhibitors such as beta-blockers or diuretics.

"Quite Surprised" By Results

"Soon after we started to treat COVID-19 patients in early February in Wuhan, we noticed that nearly half of the patients who died had high blood pressure, which was a much higher percentage compared to those with only mild COVID-19 symptoms. At the same time some researchers were raising concerns that RAAS inhibitors might be facilitating the entry of the coronavirus into cells and making people more susceptible to the disease," Tao continued.

"We were quite surprised that these results did not support our initial hypothesis. In fact, the results were in the opposite direction with a trend in favour of ACE inhibitors and ARBS."

While more research needs to be done, study authors maintain that they "support recommendations for the European Society of Cardiology that patients should not discontinue or change their normal, antihypertensive treatment," professor Tao concludes. 

As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

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