A controversial (if not reckless) study was published in The Lancet last month.
In it, researchers warned of the dangers of taking blood pressure medications in the age of COVID-19.
Essentially, they warned, anyone taking ACE inhibitors and ARBs are more likely to not only contract the coronavirus but also experience deadly complications.
News outlets quickly jumped on this information… warning folks taking these medications that they could be at increased risk.
But when it comes to anything the media puts out… there’s always more to the story.
Here’s what you need to know…
The researchers looked into how ACE inhibitors and ARBs increase the levels angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2).
The problem, the authors of the study say, is that the virus uses these ACE2 receptors to invade and infect human cells.
So their hypothesis was that folks on blood pressure medicines have an increased chance for the virus to hook on to cells and enter the body more easily.
And because COVID-19 is such a contagious infection, folks with underlying heart conditions are less likely to be able to fend it off once it enters the body…
But here’s the critical line from the study that the mainstream media somehow looked past:
If this hypothesis were to be confirmed, it could lead to a conflict regarding treatment because ACE2 reduces inflammation and has been suggested as a potential new therapy for inflammatory lung diseases, cancer, diabetes and hypertension.
That’s a pretty straightforward admission that the ducks are far from being in a row on this debate.
More Questions Than Answers
Proving this, a follow-up study is already enrolling patients.
The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is leading the new trial. It plans to look into the reliability of these findings.
But here’s the crazy part. It’s also running with a new hypothesis that these blood pressure drugs might lessen COVID-19 complications.
That’s right. Theories about this crazy virus are coming out faster than anyone can possibly keep up.
Some are suggesting that ACE2 enzymes might actually “distract” the coronavirus from its primary target and make it ineffective.
So to summarize, those on blood pressure medications are at a greater risk of COVID-19 complications… less risk… or maybe the same as everyone else?
It’s still a free-for-all. And there are more questions than answers about exactly what makes this virus deadly for some and harmless for others.
What to Do
The media is so focused on speed and breaking news that they’re ignoring important pieces of information… the pieces that actually matter.
And naturally, these news reports have caused many patients on hypertension drugs to call their doctors and ask if they should stop taking them.
Here’s the bottom line: People should maintain their current doctor-prescribed regimen – and take the flurry of studies on the coronavirus with a hearty dose of skepticism.
We don’t know how much longer this virus will be floating around for. If it carries on for months, it could lead to heart failure or even stroke if folks stop taking their medications based on what they hear in the news.
The best advice for now is the same as it’s been for a while. Carry on with what you’ve been doing. Limit your exposure to other people. Wash your hands. And stay safe.
For more information on how to stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 crisis, click here.
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