POST – Blood Pressure Medications and Their Effect on Covid-19

  • Over the last 3 days, the “number of Covid-19 cases” in New York has risen exponentially.  This has dramatically increased fear and concern in many people.
  • As you may recall, Governor Cuomo recently setup “drive-thru” testing for the citizens of New Rochelle and other parts of New York.  This has dramatically increased the number of people being tested.  Now, a few days later, these test results are being reported.  The marked increase in infections has everything to do with the marked increase in number of people tested.  BUT, more importantly, the number of “sick” people or “death rate” has not risen at the same rate.
  • This supports the theory that MANY, MANY people are already infected, but are not “sick”.  I continue to predict that 80-90% of the US population will eventually get infected, but only a SMALL minority of citizens will be severely sick or succumb to the illness.

IMPORTANT SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION

  • Earlier this month, a Chinese scientist discovered that Covid-19 enters the lung cells using a “receptor” called ACE2.
  • It is also known that a few commonly used blood pressure medications seem to increase the level of ACE2 receptors.
  • An emerging theory is that if you take one of these medications, your ACE2 receptor level will rise, which may make you more susceptible to getting a more severe form of the illness.
  • My recommendation is for everyone to contact their physician, and to review your blood pressure medication list.
  • If you are taking a blood pressure medication from the “ACEI or ARB” class of drugs, talk to your physician about the above information.
  • For the next few weeks, it might be beneficial to consider switching to a different class of medications, at least until this pandemic subsides.
    • If these ACEI and ARB medications have absolutely no effect on Covid-19, then you will have done no harm as long as your blood pressure can be controlled via other meds.
    • But, if this theory is correct, a simple switch of medications may prevent you from experiencing a more severe form of the illness.

Stay Safe !!

  • Sudhir S. Athni, MD
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