Hypertension ‘a key dangerous factor’ in COVID-19 mortality

Hypertensive patients may be at a greater risk of dying from COVID-19, the viral disease stemming from the world’s largest coronavirus outbreak to date, according to Bloomberg News.

Du Bin, director of the intensive care unit at Peking Union Medical College Hospital in Beijing, was sent to Wuhan, China—the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic—last December when the virus was first beginning to spread through local communities. He said that of a group of 170 patients who died of COVID-19 in January in Wuhan, nearly half had hypertension.

“That’s a very high ratio,” he told Bloomberg over the phone from Wuhan. “From what I was told by other doctors and the data I can see myself, among all the underlying diseases, hypertension is a key dangerous factor.”

Du, considered one of the most respected critical care experts in China, did acknowledge that his observation hasn’t been supported by research. Still, he said, he and his team in Wuhan believe hypertension could be “an important factor in causing patients to deteriorate.”

“We’ll keep an eye on old people and those with high blood pressure,” Du said. “They are the key focus.”

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