People with heart disease or diabetes are at higher risks of dying from a COVID-19 infection.
Data from the outbreak in Wuhan, China, shows a 10.5% death rate among people with COVID-19 who also have cardiovascular disease, 7.3% for those with diabetes, 6.3% for those with respiratory disease, 6% for those with high blood pressure and 5.6% for those with cancer.
Underlying Disease 1: Cardiovascular Disease
Mohammad Madjid, MD, MS, the study's lead author and an assistant professor of cardiology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth has conducted a study of 187 patients with COVID-19, 27.8% of patients had heart muscle injuries, which resulted in malfunction of heart and irregular heartbeat.
He said, "An overall, injury to heart muscle can happen in any patient with or without heart disease, but the risk is higher in those who already have heart disease."
COVID-19 can have fatal consequences for people with underlying cardiovascular disease and cause cardiac injury even in patients without underlying heart conditions
(JAMA Cardiology, March 27, 2020).
Underlying Disease 2: Hypertension
PATIENTS with hypertension appear to be at a higher risk of dying from the Covid-19 coronavirus. Of a group of 170 patients who died in January in Wuhan – nearly half had hypertension.
“That’s a very high ratio,” said Du Bin, director of the intensive care unit at Peking Union Medical College Hospital. He was among a team of top doctors sent to the devastated city two months ago to help treat patients there.
Underlying Disease 3: Diabetes
When people with diabetes develop a viral infection, it can be harder to treat due to fluctuations in blood glucose levels and, possibly, the presence of diabetes complications.
There appear to be two reasons for this. Firstly, the immune system is compromised, making it harder to fight the virus and likely leading to a longer recovery period. Secondly, the virus may thrive in an environment of elevated blood glucose.
Furthermore, people with diabetes have heightened levels of inflammation throughout their bodies, which make them more susceptible to get COVID-19 complications.