Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses and COVID-19 is a new strain discovered in 2019. As of 26 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports over 4,00,000 positive cases and more than 20,000 deaths, with the numbers rapidly increasing with new cases being reported from different territories.
From what experts know so far, certain comorbidities place those who test positive for COVID-19 at higher risk of mortality. A study on COVID-19 hospitalized patients from Wuhan found almost half of the cases (48 percent) suffering from underlying chronic diseases. Of the total cases, 30 percent had hypertension, followed by diabetes (19 percent) and coronary heart disease (8 percent).
Other countries are also seeing how pre-diagnosis health plays an important role. Italy reported that of the first nine people younger than 40 who died of COVID-19, seven were confirmed to have “grave pathologies” such as heart disease. According to a report on patient characteristics from Italy’s National Institute of Health released March 17, 99% of COVID-19 patients who have died had at least one pre-existing condition (from heart disease to high blood pressure diabetes to kidney diseases) and nearly 50% of the patients who died had three pre-existing conditions.
According to the World Heart Federation, “non-communicable diseases (NCD), specifically chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes are major risk factors for developing severe symptoms of COVID-19.”
To begin with, NCDs are today the world’s biggest killers, leading to 71 percent of all deaths in 2018. Sixty-three percent of all deaths in India are attributed to NCDs, with 23 percent at risk of premature deaths.
At Least 27 of Indian COVID-19 patients (out of the total 38 at the time writing this blog) had one thing in common — they all had underlying conditions like diabetes and hypertension that are believed to have compromised their body’s fight against the pandemic.
The need to reverse chronic dysfunctions thus takes on deeper urgency in India because the country is estimated to have over 8 crore hypertension patients, and around 7.29 crore diabetes cases among adults.
As COVID-19 diagnosis continue to rise across the globe and death counts due to assorted health reasons increase, most of those have been attributed to underlying diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems and poor respiratory health.
The Louisiana Department of Health states that out of the total deaths resulting from COVID-19, 41% had Diabetes, 31% had Chronic Kidney Disease while 28% and 23% suffered from Obesity and Cardiac problems. 18% of the total deceased had pulmonary ailments.
We now know that people who have underlying medical conditions including heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer, and hypertension face higher odds of getting really sick or dying because they make our immune systems grow weaker, which makes it more challenging to fight off infectious diseases.
The risk for positive COVID-19 diagnosis is higher in people with weak immune defenses. Adding to the burden can be emotional stress, lack of sleep and physical exhaustion, which can further make one prone to diseases by weakening immunity. Maintaining a healthy diet with food that boosts immunity can help fight infections. Physical activity and nutrition have been known to boost the immune system.
“Your immune system is (the) best weapon against corona-virus,” as said by a Turkish scholar. Strengthening the immune system with healthy nutrition may help equip people with a defense mechanism against viruses.
Building immunity along with fixing internal dysfunctions is the best strategy one can have in today’s time.
Speak with us now to learn how to do both- improve your immunity and get rid of chronic health problems. If not now, then when will you do it?
- Food for thought in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic