Blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease patients at same coronavirus COVID-19 risk as others: ICMR

The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) on Wednesday asserted that people suffereing from hypertension, diabetes or heart diseases are at the same risk of contracting the new coronavirus like anyone else. This comes even as health officials around the world have warned that the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions face a higher risk of complications due to the COVID-19.

Blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease patients at same coronavirus COVID-19 risk as others: ICMR

The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) on Wednesday asserted that people suffereing from hypertension, diabetes or heart diseases are at the same risk of contracting the new coronavirus like anyone else. This comes even as health officials around the world have warned that the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions face a higher risk of complications due to the COVID-19.

In its FAQs, the ICMR said that the majority (80 per cent) of people diagnosed with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms of a respiratory infection (fever, sore throat, cough) and make a full recovery. "People with hypertension, diabetes or heart diseases are at no greater risk of getting the infection than anyone else."

However, the FAQ went on to read, "Some of the people with diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases including Heart Failure (weak heart) may develop more severe symptoms and complications. Therefore extra care is advised for these patients."

On people with diabetes, the ICMR said that in general, people with uncontrolled diabetes are at increased risk of all infections. "People with diabetes are not at higher risk for acquiring the infection, but some individuals are prone to more severe disease and poorer outcomes once infected," it noted.

The agency also refuted reports that certain medications for cardiovascular diseases can put people at high COVID-19 risk. "After review of the available information, the consensus of various scientific societies and expert group of cardiologists is that currently there is no evidence that the two group of drugs- ACE inhibitors (eg. Ramipril, Enalapril and so on) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) (eg. Losartan, Telmisartan and so on) increase the susceptibility or severity of COVID-19," said the ICMR.