blood pressure medication is so important

Why blood pressure medication is so important during times of COVID

Cardiology, Medication,

High blood pressure is the most common chronic silent health condition in adults. In countries like Brazil and the USA, more than 50% of middle-age and older adults have elevated blood pressure. Many of these people are not treated adequately because they are unaware of their condition, or—especially since the condition typically has no symptoms until later— they don’t take adequate medication (or faithfully enough) to control their pressure. 

If you have read about the issues of COVID infection in people with “pre-existing conditions”, you might know that high blood pressure is one of those conditions. The data shows that people with high blood pressure who develop COVID have a higher risk of suffering a more severe form of the infection. 

Until recently, there has been uncertainty in the medical community over the role of blood pressure medication in relation to COVID. Some have suggested that certain types of blood pressure medication could make some people even more susceptible to severe COVID infection. Fortunately, recently, there is a consensus amongst infection disease experts that:

People with high blood pressure have better outcomes and survival rates from COVID if they are taking blood pressure medication(s) which adequately controls their pressure.

Controversy about certain medications

Early in the epidemic, it was found that the COVID-19 virus could enter the body by attaching to certain “receptors”, called ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme II) receptors, that are abundantly present in the nasal tissues, where the virus typically enters the body. Interestingly, these same receptors are involved with the “renin-angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS)” which helps regulate blood pressure. Many people with high blood pressure are taking medications that work on this RAAS system to control their pressure.

Specifically, blood pressure medications called ACE inhibitors or ARB blockers also work on this same RAAS system. And since the COVID virus acted in the same system, some experts were worried that people taking these medications could be increasing their chances of severe COVID complications. Other theories were the opposite—that these medications could help protect people from severe infection. 

Many research studies have been carried out in the past few months, in various countries, to try to figure out if these medications helped or hurt people with COVID. Fortunately, the studies have consistently concluded that people who are taking ACE inhibitors or ARBs are less likely to suffer severe COVID complications if they are taking their medications, and controlling their pressure. 

Other types of blood pressure medications

Many other types of medications are used to control blood pressure, such as diuretics, calcium channel blockers, alpha blockers, and beta blockers. Many people need a combination of several types of medications to control their pressure. Again, fortunately, the research suggests that none of these medications make COVID worse, and most likely lessens the risk of severe COVID complications. 

There is still much to be discovered about this new coronavirus, but one thing is certain—if you have high blood pressure, you have a significantly higher risk of surviving COVID if your blood pressure is under control! If you have questions about your particular situation, ask your doctor. 

To find a doctor, of any specialty, anywhere in Brazil, check out our website: www.ProcuraMed.com.

See also in ProcuraMed:

How to self-monitor your blood pressure at home

Why Brazil is a leader in vaccine trials

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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