The Key to Handling Stress and COVID-19

frustrated-latinx-woman-feeling-loser-standing-at-the-office-picture-id1132977608 The Key to Handling Stress and COVID-19

Although COVID-19 is very easily transmitted from person to person, the risk of subsequent hospitalization and death primarily affects people who are already at risk because of old age, infirmity and/or chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, autoimmune illness, obesity, and heart disease.  All of these chronic illnesses are associated with measurable low-grade inflammation in the body.  The chronic low-grade inflammation that develops with advanced age has become known as “inflammaging”. Most people with chronic illness unknowingly have low-grade inflammation. Recent research points to a second finding: these same disorders are often accompanied by persistent low-grade anxiety and depression.

All of this as a background increases the danger for a person when acute illness strikes. In addition to the elderly and chronically ill, COVID-19 is causing acute respiratory illness and stroke sometimes leading to death in seemingly otherwise healthy younger individuals.  The transition from SARS-CoV-2 infection to diagnosed COVID-19 is typically accompanied by a “cytokine storm.” Cytokines are proteins that are major drivers of inflammation, and their rapid increase, or "storm” is one of the body’s immune responses to acute threat.

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