Since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, health authorities have emphasized that people with underlying diseases face an increased risk of complications if they contract COVID-19. And as the disease progresses by leaps and bounds, so does the research and details that demonstrate the most prone underlying diseases, as well as the most affected ethnicities.
Experts from the American Heart Association (AHA) explained Thursday that people with cardiovascular disease, including cerebrovascular disease, those who suffered a stroke or those with diabetes, are among the highest-risk group.
They also emphasize that survivors of stroke, heart disease including high blood pressure, and congenital heart defects are among the group that needs to be very careful. Coronavirus patients who have pre-existing hypertension, diabetes or cardiovascular disease are experiencing 2 to 3 times higher death rates than the general population, experts said during a video conference.
An interesting and deadly complication of COVID-19 is in myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart, which is often associated with fatal ventricular arrhythmias. There is also talk of severe bradycardia, a very slow heart rate.
“And we are trying to quickly understand which patients are at risk for that and what is the best way to identify them,” said Dr. Mariell Jessup, chief scientific officer, and physician for the AHA.
Race, gender, and blood type
Dr. Jessup added that countries like China and Italy reported that the disease is much more deadly in men than in women.
“There is even a report that certain blood types are more likely to suffer profound consequences,” said the doctor.
Meanwhile, Dr. Eduardo Sánchez, medical director for Prevention and head of the AHA’s Center for Health Measurement and Assessment, said the disproportionate burden of deaths, possibly related to hospitalization, race and ethnic origin.
“African Americans seem to be experiencing disproportionately deaths,” said Sanchez.
However, in New York, the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, Latinos are experiencing higher mortality rates and higher rates of intensive care.
“This is not entirely surprising to us because we know that… the burden of type 2 diabetes is higher among African Americans, Latinos and American Indians, Alaska Natives, compared to other racial-ethnic groups in the United States,” he said. Dr. Sanchez.
“So when we start looking at the data in the future, we may find that there is that kind of correlation,” he added.
Dr. Sanchez stressed that the factor that most influences the mortality rate of Hispanics is the combination of chronic conditions and diseases that affect Latinos more than some other racial and ethnic groups.
“Among them obesity, type 2 diabetes, some cardiovascular conditions, and chronic kidney disease,” said Sanchez. “That combined with old age explains part of the phenomenon seen in New York. Another reality is that people without health insurance delay seeking medical care because they fear the high cost. ”
The high death rates for Latinos in New York could be an image of what can be seen in cities with a high Latino presence, such as Los Angeles, said Dr. Sanchez.
Additionally, Sanchez revealed that it is very likely that a person who smokes tobacco or vapes and is infected with COVID-19 “although it is not for sure, it is likely that they have a more serious experience regarding their lungs than someone who does not smoke ”.
Dr. Sanchez said that the most important thing is to take all the preventive measures recommended by the experts that include washing hands with soap for 20 seconds, at least every 30 minutes, having all surfaces disinfected, wearing masks, and distancing yourself from others, for at least two meters or more.
“For people with diabetes they must take all the medications as prescribed and keep their glucose controlled,” Sánchez said. “For people with heart problems, they should take all their medications as prescribed.”
Currently, the coronavirus COVID-19 occupies the number 9 of deaths in the country. By Thursday afternoon, they reported more than 462,000 infections and 16,454 deaths.
In Los Angeles County on Thursday, 7,955 cases of infected and 223 deaths were reported.