Patients with cardiovascular disease diagnosed with novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are urged to continue taking their angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEi) and angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) medications as prescribed, according to a statement jointly published by the American Heart Association (AHA), the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA), and the American College of Cardiology (ACC). 

Observations over the past several months have indicated that cardiovascular disease patients are at a higher risk of serious complications and death from COVID-19. The statement was issued in order to “dispel misinformation” on whether patients currently prescribed an ACEi or ARB for indications such as heart failure, hypertension, or ischemic heart disease should continue therapy after being diagnosed with COVID-19. 

“Cardiovascular disease patients who are diagnosed with COVID-19 should be fully evaluated before adding or removing any treatments, and any changes to their treatment should be based on the latest scientific evidence and shared-decision making with their physician and healthcare team,” the press announcement stated. 

According to the joint statement, there have been no experimental or clinical data to support claims related to benefit or harm related to ACEi or ARB use in COVID-19 patients. The associations urged that modifications to ACEi or ARB treatment should only be made after a full evaluation of the individual patient is completed by a physician. The statement also highlighted the urgency of obtaining additional research in this field in order to provide optimal care for cardiovascular disease patients diagnosed with COVID-19. 

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“These recommendations will be adjusted as needed to correspond with the latest research,“ concluded Richard J. Kovacs, MD, president of the ACC and Q.E. and Sally Russell Professor of Cardiology at Indiana University School of Medicine.

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