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Top Coronavirus Doctor in Wuhan Says High Blood Pressure Is Major Death Risk

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Top Coronavirus Doctor in Wuhan Says High Blood Pressure Is Major Death Risk

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Patients with hypertension appear to be at a higher risk of dying from the coronavirus, said a top Chinese intensive care doctor who’s been treating critically ill patients since mid-January.

While there’s been no published research yet explaining why, Chinese doctors working in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the virus first emerged, have noticed that infected patients with that underlying illness are more likely to slip into severe distress and die.

Of a group of 170 patients who died in January in Wuhan — the first wave of casualties caused by a pathogen that’s now raced around the world — nearly half had hypertension.

“That’s a very high ratio,” said Du Bin, director of the intensive care unit at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, in an interview with Bloomberg over the phone from Wuhan. He was among a team of top doctors sent to the devastated city two months ago to help treat patients there.

“From what I was told by other doctors and the data I can see myself, among all the underlying diseases, hypertension is a key dangerous factor,” said Du, one of the most respected critical care experts in China. “Though there is no research published on that yet, we believe hypertension could be an important factor in causing patients to deteriorate, leading to a bad prognosis.”

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