I’ve had a heart attack – am I at increased risk from coronavirus?

Anyone who has had a heart attack is at high risk from coronavirus, no matter when your heart attack was. This means if you catch coronavirus you are more likely to get seriously ill than other people who don’t have health issues.

If you’ve had surgery in the last three months (a stent being fitted is not classed as surgery, it is a procedure), or if you’re also over 60 or have other health problems, you’re at particularly high risk.

You should carefully follow the advice on social distancing and hand-washing, and limit the number of face-to-face interactions you have to reduce your chance of catching the virus. You should work from home if you can.

I have high blood pressure (or have been diagnosed with hypertension), am I at increased risk from coronavirus?

We know that a diagnosis of high blood pressure (hypertension) is linked to a higher risk of serious illness from Covid-19, and therefore you are considered at high risk. This means if you get coronavirus you are more likely to become seriously ill than someone who doesn’t have health problems.

As you have high blood pressure, it’s very important you take your medication (including ACE-inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers) as prescribed, to lower your blood pressure.

Having high blood pressure on its own does not place you in the shielding category. You should carefully follow the advice on social distancing and hand-washing, and limit the number of face-to-face interactions you have to reduce your chance of catching the virus. You should work from home if you can.

  • Learn more about coronavirus and working when you have a heart condition

It seems likely that your increase in risk is relatively low if

  • your blood pressure is well controlled, and
  • it hasn’t caused your heart muscle to become thickened, and
  • you have no other health conditions or risk factors (such as smoking, obesity or being over 60)
Even during lockdown, there are things you can do to improve your blood pressure. Which of these things would help you?
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Quit smoking
  • Lose weight
  • Get a bit more exercise
  • Eat less salt

It might help to get a blood pressure monitor if you don’t have one, so you can keep an eye on your blood pressure at home.

Source: British Heart Foundation