What is coronavirus?
Read what it is, the signs to look out for, and how to protect yourself and others.
Here you can find out about coronavirus and how it might affect you if you have high cholesterol or a related condition such as heart disease. You can also find out if you are at higher risk, and what that means.
Having a high cholesterol level does not mean you're more likely to catch coronavirus (COVID-19), or raise the risk of severe disease if you do catch it – but do check our information on who is at risk below.
However, just as catching seasonal flu can impact conditions such as coronary heart disease, coronavirus (COVID-19) is likely to have a similar effect. Any virus that enters the body can put excess stress on your body's systems and organs, and this can cause existing conditions to worsen. This is why taking steps to protect yourself from catching the virus is so important, even if you feel fit and well.
Most GP services, some hospitals and clinics, and some specialist FH services are unable to operate as normal in order to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic. There may, therefore, be delays and cancellations for routine appointments. Where possible, seek information and support online from reputable websites about your health conditions, such as the NHS and health charities.
A joint statement from the British Cardiovascular Society and the British Society for Heart Failure has offered reassurance to people taking ACE Inhibitors (drugs usually ending in '-pril', such as ramipril) and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs, drugs usually ending in '-sartan', such as candesartan).
The government have identified the following people as being at a higher risk, or 'clinically vulnerable'. If this includes you, be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. You may have seen these groups listed on the government and NHS websites, they are:
This is in addition to some people with FH and those listed above by the government above. This includes you if you have one or more of the following risk factors or conditions which affect your heart and blood vessels:
If you have one or more of these conditions you should follow the government’s social distancing measures very closely, particularly now certain restrictions have been eased.
Most workplaces have re-opened and people can return to work provided employers have made arrangements for them to work safely and are following COVID secure guidelines, including social distancing measures are in place. View the guidance at www.gov.uk/coronavirus – under work and financial support.
If you have any concerns about returning to work please contact your GP or specialist for further advice.
People falling into this highest risk (or extremely clinically vulnerable) group includes people who:
The government plans to pause shielding of this group from 1st August 2020 unless coronavirus transmission starts to rise significantly in the community.
Our Cholesterol Helpline is running as usual to support you and the NHS, so please contact us if you have any concerns about cholesterol conditions and coronavirus. We might have more callers than usual so if you can’t get through, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you.
Please note that we are not able to diagnose coronavirus so please refer to Government and NHS guidance if you think you may have coronavirus symptoms.
A number of other charities have produced specific advice about coronavirus.