Cardiac patients and COVID-19: what the general practitioner should know
Department of Cardiology and Internal Diseases, Military Institute of Medicine, Warsaw, Poland
Correspondence: Robert Ryczek, Department of Cardiology and Internal Diseases, Military Institute of Medicine, Szaserów 128, 04-141 Warsaw, Poland, tel.: +48 261 816 372, e-mail: rryczek@wim.mil.pl
Pediatr Med Rodz 2019, 15 (4), p. c6–c9
DOI: 10.15557/PiMR.2020.0002
ABSTRACT

The pandemic of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), a disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), presents medicine with previously unknown challenges. Primary healthcare facilities and general practitioners face a number of problems related to the current epidemiological situation. The gravity of the situation affects not only patients who are suspected of or diagnosed with COVID-19. New threats and organisational restrictions must also be taken into consideration when providing medical care to other patients, especially those with chronic diseases, requiring regular monitoring. Even though COVID-19 presents as a a mild respiratory disease in the majority of patients, it may pose a serious risk to health and life in the elderly population and individuals with underlying health concerns. The presence of previously diagnosed cardiovascular diseases is associated with an especially poor prognosis in patients with COVID-19. The aims of the paper are to present the cardiovascular symptomatology of COVID-19 and the potential effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the laboratory cardiac markers, discuss the impact of cardiac disorders on the course of COVID-19, and summarise the current expert statement on the controversies surrounding the treatment with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, attention is drawn to the fact that cardiac patients can use telemedicine to get advice from specialists, so that continuity of care is ensured while adhering to the rules of epidemiological safety.

Keywords: 2019-nCoV, cardiovascular system, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, telemedicine, hypertension