Hypertensive individuals run higher risk of Covid infection, say doctors
Hypertensive individuals run the increased risk of Covid-19 infection and they should take extra precautions like regularly monitoring their blood pressure level, doctors said.
Hypertensive individuals and increased age are high risk factors for Covid-19 infection, said Dr Shiva Raju, Senior Consultant Physician and Diabetologist, KIMS Hospitals, Secunderabad. He advised such individuals to remain at home, take regular medication for blood pressure, closely monitor BP level at home and ensure a low salt diet - less than 3 grams per day.
Such individuals should also avoid taking more than two coffees per day, avoid alcohol intake and pain killers.
A study shows six per ent of those died of Covid-19 were patients with known hypertension and associated diabetes. The Covid-19 mortality rate for normal patients is two per cent. Patients who are taking ACE inhibitors and ARB may have higher risk of Covid-19 infection but evidence is inconclusive.
Dr Meeraji Rao, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Continental Hospitals, Hyderabad, believes that inactive daily routines due to the ongoing lockdown could result in dangerous health conditions, even before the pandemic hits the individual.
It is important that every individual with possible underlying health ailments, take daily readings of blood pressure as this will help monitor fluctuations. A close watch on blood pressure and diabetes levels will help in creating a lifestyle that is best suited to stay healthy.
"During normal days, an individual moves around and has an active life; but it is important for people to stay active and healthy even under lockdown. It is strongly advised that people exercise at least for 2-3 hours every week to ensure their metabolism functions well, and they remain healthy," he said
The doctor said patients already suffering from hypertension can continue with their earlier medications even during this pandemic while those who have developed high blood pressure during these times must seek expert opinion when it comes to ACE inhibitors and ARB medicines.
"Stress is one major reason people tend to develop hypertension, and the risk of this condition is higher in these times of pandemic and associated lockdown. It is strongly advised that people maintain a healthy sleep cycle to help beat health risks. Hypertension patients need not do vigorous exercise; but can ensure they stay healthy by doing brisk walking for 30 to 60 minutes each day."
"Hyper Tension.... the word itself explains one of the major cause for it. This is nothing but a condition where one's blood pressure is beyond 120/80," explained Dr Saji D'souza, Chairman and Managing Director, KSAC Group of Hospitals.
Almost every individual will have raised BP due to many factors including loss of elasticity of arteries and veins, atherosclerosis where in the arteries are blocked with salts/cholesterol etc and stress induced.
A person who has unpredictable variations and the level of BP going beyond 180/120 need to take medical advice as this might invite stroke, cardiac arrest or even death.
He pointed out that ayurveda suggests a balanced diet and exercise. Proper excretory and blood circulatory systems keep the body away from not only hypertension but also other diseases. Ayurveda emphasises on good food, exercise and sound sleep for the perfect harmony on one's own health, he added.