Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a novel virus that causes COVID-19 infection, has recently emerged and caused a deadly pandemic. Studies have shown that this virus causes worse outcomes and a higher mortality rate in older adults and those with comorbidities such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and chronic kidney disease (CKD). A significant percentage of older American adults have these diseases, putting them at a higher risk of infection. Additionally, many adults with hypertension, diabetes, and CKD are placed on angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers. Studies have shown that these medications upregulate the ACE-2 receptor, the very receptor that the SARS-CoV-2 virus uses to enter host cells. Although it has been hypothesized that this may cause a further increased risk of infection, more studies on the role of these medications in COVID-19 infections are necessary. In this review, we discuss the transmission, symptomatology, and mortality of COVID-19 as they relate to older adults, and possible treatments that are currently under investigation. J Am Geriatr Soc 68:926–929, 2020.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geriatrics and Gerontology