Patients with chronic heart disease are mentioned as a group at extra risk during infection with the coronavirus (rivm.nl). This mainly concerns older people (> 70 years),
people with heart failure, people with angina pectoris, people with residual damage to the heart after a heart attack, people with a heart rhythm disorder or people with heart valve problems (hartstichting.nl).
The Congenital Cardiology working group (which deals with adults with congenital heart defects in the Netherlands) would like to emphasize that
the working group also considers a patient to be vulnerable if there is:
• A circulatory system in which a single ventricle pumps blood through the lungs as well as throughout the body (univentricular heart)
• A Fontan circulatory system
• A chronically low blood oxygen level
• High blood pressure in the pulmonary artery (pulmonary hypertension), including Eisenmenger's syndrome
• Reduced pumping function of the heart for which you are taking medication
• People with a congenital heart defect who are on the waiting list for surgery on the heart and/or pulmonary artery (either by surgery or via the blood vessels/catheterisation)
There have been reports in the media about the risks of using certain heart medications in relation to the severity of a corona infection. These are medicines that end in -pril (e.g. perindopril, lisinopril, enalapril; the so-called ACE inhibitors) and end in -artan (e.g. losartan, candesartan, irbesartan; the so-called angiotensin II inhibitors). These two drugs are important for patients with heart failure and/or high blood pressure. There is no evidence for additional risks and there is even evidence that these drugs protect against corona infection. It is therefore important that you continue to take your medicines and not just stop! If the insights change, we will of course let you know.
If you have any questions about the above, please call your GP or attending cardiologist for advice about your specific situation.