The majority of fatalities thus far in the COVID-19 pandemic have been attributed to pneumonia. As expected, the fatality rate reported in China is higher in people with chronic pulmonary disease (6.3%) and those who have cancer (5.6%). According to the American College of Cardiology Clinical Bulletin "COVID-19 Clinical Guidance for the CV Care Team", there is a significantly higher fatality rate in people who are elderly (8.0% 70-79 years; 14.8% ≥80 years), diabetic (7.3%), hypertensive (6.0%), or have known cardiovascular disease (CVD) (10.5%). We propose a biological reason for the higher mortality risk in these populations that is apparent. We further present a set of pathophysiological reasons for the heightened danger that could lead to therapies for enhanced management and prevention.
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