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Hypertension most common comorbidity among COVID patients: AIIMS doctor

IANS Sep 17, 2020

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, recorded underlying health conditions or comorbidities in 98.5 percent of coronavirus patients admitted to the hospital for treatment in September with hypertension being the most common form.

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There is a grave interlink between comorbidities and coronavirus infection. Patients with hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, chronic obstructive lung, carcinoma or chronic kidney disease have higher chance of succumbing to the disease, according to public health experts. According to Animesh Ray, Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at AIIMS, "In September, 137 patients were admitted to AIIMS, and comorbidities were present in 98.5 percent of them. There was presence of comorbidities in almost all the patients, barring two."

Ray said that hypertension was the most common form of ailment in the patients, followed by diabetes and malignancy. "One in four patients had multiple comorbidities. Out of 137, 128 were discharged while nine succumbed to the disease, out of which six were asymptomatic or had a mild infection, while three were severely ill," Ray said during the AIIMS National Combined Grand Rounds on COVID-19.

Hypertension is defined as blood pressure above 140/90, and is considered severe if the pressure is above 180/120. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. Over time, if untreated, it can cause health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke. AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, who is also the part of a core team monitoring the pandemic, also said that comorbidities not only lead to a poor prognosis in terms of morbidity and mortality, but sometimes they also get aggravated because of underline COVID-19.

"Diabetes has emerged as an important comorbidity. It can lead to poor prognosis in terms of morbidity and mortality, especially where diabetes is not well-controlled. It has been well said that a collision of two pandemics -- COVID-19 pandemic and diabetes pandemic -- has led to worse outcomes in these patients."

Guleria added that there is a bi-directional flow as far as diabetes and COVID-19 is concerned. Individuals who have diabetes have more severe COVID-19 infection. "There are some data which suggest that it may aggravate to lead to the development of Type-1 diabetes. Anyone who has diabetes, infection control becomes an issue for him/her."

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