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We’ve heard it ever since COVID-19 came on the scene. People with underlying conditions who contract the virus are at higher risk of developing more severe cases of COVID-19 cases that can seriously impact their lives. According to surveillance data from the Centers for Disease Control, hospitalizations have been six times higher and deaths 12 times higher among those with reported underlying conditions compared to those with no reported preexisting conditions. There are more than 26 different underlying conditions included on the Centers for Disease Control’s COVID-19 warning list. However, three underlying conditions are known to show a strong connection to COVID-19’s worst outcomes. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, nearly two-thirds of people hospitalized with COVID-19 were attributable to hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. In other words, these hospitalizations might not have occurred if these conditions had not been present.

Let’s take a closer look at a few common underlying conditions and learn how Any Lab Test Now® can help you Take Control of Your Health™.

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE AND COVID-19

COVID-19 has been linked directly to multiple heart-related issues. According to the American Heart Association, it has contributed indirectly to deaths among people who had cardiac problems but delayed getting treatment.

Conditions include: 

  • Heart failure – a condition in which the heart does not pump blood effectively
  • Coronary artery disease – which leads to blocked arteries
  • Cardiomyopathy – a weakening, thinning, and/or thickening of the heart muscle

These conditions can lead to more severe cases of COVID-19. One of the main concerns for people with underlying heart conditions is that the virus could cause respiratory stress that would worsen those conditions. The best solution is to continue taking usual medications and frequent observation. Our Heart Health Panel includes four tests to monitor your cardiac status. This panel can be used to gain a baseline assessment of your heart health or as a monitoring tool to reveal possible risk factors.

HYPERTENSION and COVID-19

Blood pressure is the pressure that comes from the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. If blood pressure remains high for a long time, it can damage the heart and cause other health problems, including heart attack and stroke. People with hypertension or high blood pressure have a decreased immune response, putting them at higher risk of severe complications related to COVID-19.

Nearly half of adults in the United States have hypertension and are prescribed medication to treat it. However, reports from the CDC show that only about one in four adults with hypertension have their condition under control.

Uncontrolled hypertension has been found to:

  • Lower your immunity: High blood pressure suppresses the immune system, increasing the risk of contracting an infectious disease like COVID-19
  • Increase the risk of lung injury: Uncontrolled high blood pressure has also been found to increase the severity of lung injury and mortality in those afflicted with COVID-19.

Taking medications as prescribed and using a blood pressure monitor to track levels are keys to living a heart-healthy life.

Experts suggest the following protocols to prevent or reduce hypertension:

  • Exercise
  • Eat heart-healthy foods like colorful vegetables and whole grains
  • Lose weight
  • Manage stress
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Quit smoking

Laboratory testing does not diagnose hypertension, but routine lab tests like a Urinalysis or Comprehensive Metabolic Panel are recommended before beginning treatment of high blood pressure to detect conditions that may cause and/or make high blood pressure worse and to evaluate and monitor organ function over time. 

COVID-19 and DIABETES

One in every 10 Americans across all ages — that’s more than 34 million people — are dealing with this metabolic disorder. It’s estimated that people with diabetes are more likely to have worse complications and severe symptoms when infected with the virus, apparent in individuals with both type 2 and type 1 diabetes. 

Types of Diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes is a disorder in which the pancreas stops working, and most of the insulin-producing cells in the body are destroyed by an immune process. Type 1 typically develops in childhood. 
  • Type 2 shows up later in life. Type 2 diabetics don’t respond to insulin as well as they should. Lifestyle factors, including being overweight and inactivity, may play a role in the disease.

Viral infections such as COVID-19 can increase inflammation, or internal swelling, in people with diabetes. Inflammation can also be caused by above-target blood sugars and could contribute to more severe complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a condition that can be experienced by people with type 1 diabetes. DKA can make it challenging to manage fluid intake and electrolyte levels — which is vital in managing sepsis. Sepsis and septic shock are some of the more severe complications that some people with COVID-19 have experienced.

Your risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 is likely to be lower if your diabetes is well-managed. Many diabetics use Any Lab Test Now to help them effectively control their condition. The Diabetes Maintenance Panel provides diabetics with a lot of important information about their condition. 

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) – Tests for blood disorders such as infection or anemia.  
  • Hemoglobin A1C – This is a key test for diabetics. It measures the average blood sugar levels over the past three months.
  • Diabetic Urinalysis – Determines if albumin (protein) is in the blood, which would indicate a problem with the kidneys.


STAY SAFE

Adherence to social distancing protocols can help lower the risk of catching the coronavirus. These include:

  • Limiting the number of people you come into contact with
  • Wearing a mask, especially around people
  • Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Wiping surfaces with sanitation wipes
  • Using hand sanitizer 


BE AT EASE

Any Lab Test Now wants you to be at ease when it comes to seeking out any type of lab work. We provide you a safe and clean alternative location for lab work. Each of our 190+ stores is sanitized several times a day, in accordance with the CDC’s protocols. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life. We want to put you at ease during the coronavirus outbreak. We are here to help. 

Find your closest Any Lab Test Now store at www.anylabtestnow.com.