Experts have been saying that certain high blood pressure medicines are linked with a severe infection for COVID19 patients since the start of the pandemic. They have been supporting their opinion by saying that these medicines make an easy passage for the virus to get inside the cell. However, they have advised people to continue with their blood pressure medication. As the second wave of COVID19 is around the corner, scientists have been examining the effects of these medications on COVID19 patients. In a new study, experts have found that blood pressure medicines can decrease the risk of death and severe infection in patients with COVID19. This study has been put together by a team of experts from the University of East Anglia.
The team of scientists has extracted the data from 19 relevant studies, which include the patients who have been taking two types of blood pressure medicines. The first one is angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs). The second one is the angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). This data has made it possible for experts to look at the results of more than 28000 COVID19 patients and to examine the effects of such medications. Both medicines act on the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), which controls blood pressure and the balance of fluids and electrolytes in the body. Such drugs as well shoot up the expression of the protein attached to the surface of the cell known as angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). ACE2 protein is the one, which allows the SARS-CoV-2 virus to enter the cell.
Earlier experts expressed their fear that these drugs would increase the amount of ACE2 protein, which would make it an easy passage for the virus to infect the cell. However, now, experts have revealed that people who have been taking these medicines for high blood pressure are at a lower risk of death by COVID19 infection. They have also claimed that patients taking these medications are less likely to be admitted in the intensive care or being on a ventilator. Such incidents have been reduced by one third in the group of participants of the study. Experts have said even if blood pressure medicines increase the level of ACE2 protein in cells, not all of it is attached to the surface of the cell. So additional ACE2 protein in other areas of the cell will not act as an entry point for coronavirus.