Coronavirus and cholesterol

What does coronavirus (COVID-19) mean for those living with cholesterol or lipid conditions? Updated May 2022 

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Find out about how coronavirus might affect you if you have high cholesterol or a related condition such as heart disease. 

 

Am I more at risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) if I have high cholesterol?

Having a high cholesterol level does not mean you're more likely to catch COVID-19 or have severe disease if you do, but do check our information on who is at risk below.

Just as catching seasonal flu can impact conditions such as coronary heart disease, 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.  

Keep taking your medicines 

  • Keep taking all your medications as prescribed unless your doctor or 111 tell you otherwise.
  • Make sure you have your usual stock of medications available – there is no need to order any extra.
  • You can also ask your surgery or pharmacy if they offer a delivery service, or if they can suggest a company that can offer this for you.

Most GP services, some hospitals and clinics, and some specialist FH services may still be affected by the pandemic, so there could be delays and cancellations of routine appointments. Where possible, seek information and support online from reputable websites about your health conditions, such as the NHS and health charities. 

Who is at higher risk? 

The government continue to update their guidance as the pandemic progresses and since the roll out of the vaccination programme.  You can find current information on who is at higher risk from the NHS.  

People at higher risk from COVID-19 are advised to follow the same guidance as everyone else.

Our HEART UK lipid experts  have identified people  at higher risk of severe illness 

If you have one or more of the following risk factors or conditions which affect the heart and blood vessels, you are at higher risk of severe illness if you contract the virus: 

  • some people with FH
  • coronary heart disease or stroke, including if you have had a heart attack, stent, bypass surgery, stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA or mini stroke)
  • peripheral arterial disease (also known as peripheral vascular disease or PAD)
  • a confirmed diagnosis of the inherited lipid condition familial dysbetalipoproteinaemia (Type 3)
  • severe obesity (with a body mass index or BMI of 40 or over)
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • diabetes
  • steroid medication: doses of Prednisolone above 15mgs are generally considered as immunosuppressive, but everyone taking oral or inhaled steroids is at higher risk of developing severe disease if they contract coronavirus.

If you have one or more of these conditions you should follow the government’s guidance closely.

See the government guidance for those previously considered extremely vulnerable 

See the guidance

Where can I get information and support?

A number of other charities have produced specific advice about coronavirus.

Our helpline is open

 We can answer most of your enquiries by email, just email ask@heartuk.org.uk and we'll get back to you. 

Please note that we are not able to diagnose coronavirus so refer to Government and NHS guidance if you think you may have coronavirus symptoms. 

COVID-19 will be a feature of our lives for the forseeable future - follow government advice for living safely with the virus

See the advice

There is official information from the NHS and the Government covering:

 

An overview of coronavirus

The Government response

Travel advice

Stay at home guidance

GP and prescriber information

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