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Heart disease risk: how dangerous is COVID-19?

The German Heart Foundation provides detailed information for people with heart disease in the current corona crisis on its website. The motto is: be careful, but don’t panic.

People over 60 are at higher risk of severe symptoms if they contract COVID-19. This is particularly the case for people suffering from lung diseases and other chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases. The American College of Cardiology (ACC) assumes that people with cardiovascular diseases are more likely to have a severe course, which is associated with an increased risk of mortality and complications. This is suggested by case reports from China. Furthermore, the findings from previous coronavirus epidemics suggest that COVID-19 attacks the heart.

How risky an infection really is depends on each individual case. Due to the risk potential with other viral infections, the German Heart Foundation warns especially with these patients:

  • Patients with an independent respiratory disease (e.g. pneumonia, emphysema, asthma, COPD, high pressure in the pulmonary circulation)
  • Patients who have an impaired function of the respiratory tract as a result of a heart disease (e.g. blood congestion in the pulmonary circulation as a result of heart failure)
  • Patients who have an independent respiratory and heart disease (e.g. COPD and coronary artery disease)
  • Patients who are taking immunosuppressive drugs (e.g. after a heart transplant or another organ transplant)