National Forum Members and Stakeholders,
All of us are inundated with information related to COVID-19. The National Forum provides the following information to answer a question we keep hearing, “When experts say people with serious heart conditions may have higher risk for severe illness, who exactly do they mean?”
According to current guidance from the CDC, “people of any age who have … serious heart conditions … might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19” as well as older adults (65 years and older). This may include people who have
- Heart failure, AKA Congestive heart failure or CHF
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Had a heart attack, stent or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)
People who have serious forms of other heart diseases such as coronary heart disease, valvular heart disease, or congenital heart disease might also be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. It is possible that people with atrial fibrillation (Afib) and people who have had a stroke may be at higher risk.
You see from news reports and bulletins that our knowledge of the novel Coronavirus and the populations to whom it poses the greatest health threat is changing and growing rapidly. While there is not sufficient data at this time for CDC to make conclusive determinations about specific conditions under the “people with serious heart conditions” umbrella, the list above reflects people who may be vulnerable for experiencing severe illness. CDC will update the guidance as our understanding of the novel Coronavirus evolves and the National Forum will keep you informed.
In the meantime, ACC, AHA, and the Heart Failure Society of America advise people who have been prescribed treatments for high blood pressure (hypertension) and/or heart failure and/or high cholesterol and/or diabetes should continue with their treatments as directed by their healthcare provider. You can obtain current info directly from the CDC at www.cdc.gov.
I hope you are well and stay that way.
John M. Clymer
National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention