What Hypertensives, Diabetics and People Diagnosed with Heart Conditions Need to Know Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Julius Matthew M. Luzana  

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, experts have been working rigorously to mitigate its effects on the country’s economy. The presence of this pandemic made it more difficult for the sick to access medications, and limit their daily activities, and while everyone is struggling with the health scare of this pandemic, hypertensives, diabetics and people with heart diseases should be twice as meticulous in managing their health conditions.

Studies such as those conducted by Richardson et. al, reveal that people with Hypertension, Diabetes, and those with Heart Diseases are at increased risk for more severe complications and have poorer outcomes once contracted with COVID-19. People with diabetes, for example, usually present with excess fat, which then enhances chronic inflammatory and pro-oxidative states that have a negative impact on the glycemic profile of patients. Deteriorating both glycemic homeostasis and peripheral insulin sensitivity. In other words, these diabetic patients, especially those who are considered obese, become immunosuppressed which make them more vulnerable to COVID-19. 

Thus, the Department of Health Zamboanga Peninsula Center for Health Development reminds the public of the following basic health tips: 

  1. Diabetics need to follow their diet and exercise routine, take medications regularly and monitor blood glucose levels frequently to keep the diabetes under control. If diabetic symptoms worsen, these patients need frequent monitoring of blood glucose and a regular consult with a physician for further evaluation and management. 
  2. Diabetics, Hypertensives and those with Heart Diseases alike need to take their medications regularly. Taking prescribed medications regularly would control blood pressure, and blood glucose, and prevent unwanted multi-organ complications brought about by these diseases.
  3. Just as any other disease, it is very important to control one’s risk factors. Thus, patients should avoid smoking and alcohol, have a regular blood pressure and blood glucose monitoring and have some form of regular physical activity.
  4. Diet should mainly compose of fiber and protein with considerable amount of fruits and vegetables. Patients with hypertension and heart diseases should also limit salt intake.
  5. If found to have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, muscle pain, or shortness of breath, immediately consult your physician.

Observing the minimum health standards through the BIDA Campaign still takes precedence to protect us from the infection. Thus, we must always wear our masks, wash and sanitize our hands regularly, maintain physical distancing and know the right information, and with everyone’s cooperation, we could halt the progression of this already crippling infection and save as much lives as possible. We can go through this together, and together still, #WeHealAsOne. 


References: Richardson, S., et al., Presenting Characteristics, Comorbidities, and Outcomes Among 5700 Patients Hospitalized With COVID-19 in the New York City Area. JAMA, 2020. 323(20): p. 2052-2059.