Coronavirus patients with high blood pressure are twice as likely to die from the infection, a new international study found.
High blood pressure has been known to worsen the risk of serious symptoms, but the study -- published in the European Heart Journal -- shows just how bad the risk is.
The international team of researchers, led by Fei Li and Ling Tao of the department of cardiology at Xijing Hospital in Xi'an, China, studied the records of 2,866 patients treated in Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak emerged.
Just under 30% of them had high blood pressure.
"Soon after we started to treat COVID-19 patients in early February in Wuhan, we noticed that nearly half of the patients who died had high blood pressure, which was a much higher percentage compared to those with only mild COVID-19 symptoms,” Tao said in a statement.
The team found that 4% of patients with high blood pressure died, compared to 1.1% of those without high blood pressure.
After some adjustments for differences among the patients, that worked out to a doubled risk of dying for the patients with high blood pressure. And 7.9% of patients who had stopped taking their blood pressure medications died.