Coronavirus > Coronavirus information and support > If you have a chest, heart or stroke condition

Living with a chest, heart or stroke condition

If you have a chest condition

If you are living with a long-term chest condition like COPD, you might be wondering what coronavirus means for you. It is normal to feel worried about coronavirus. While you are at no higher risk of developing it than anyone else, you do have a higher risk of complications from coronavirus if you do get it.

The best thing you can do is to take steps to reduce your risk of getting coronavirus. However you should also make sure that you continue to look after yourself, manage your condition well and try to plan ahead.

Those at increased risk from coronavirus

If you are already living with a chest condition and you get coronavirus, you have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill. Your level of risk also depends on things such as your age, your overall health and whether you have other health conditions.

Very high risk

There are some health conditions which put people at very high risk of becoming seriously ill if they get coronavirus. You can find the full list of these health conditions on the NHS Inform website.

The list includes those with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD, which require hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets. It also includes interstitial lung disease of any type, including pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis.

If you have any of these health conditions on the list, you need to take extra steps to protect yourself. You can find out more information about this on our shielding page.

Increased risk

If you are not at very high risk, you are still considered to have an increased risk of becoming seriously ill from coronavirus if any of the following apply to you:

  • you are 70 or older (even if you don’t have any underlying health conditions)
  • you are under 70 but you have an underlying health condition – this includes anyone given the flu vaccination each year on medical grounds
  • you are pregnant.

You can find the full list of which underlying health conditions put you at increased risk on the NHS Inform website. The list includes long-term chest conditions, such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis.

If you have any of these health conditions on the list, it is particularly important that you strictly follow the current government guidance to reduce your risk of getting coronavirus and of becoming seriously ill.

Phase 1 advice for everyone: physical distancing & government guidance

Even if you are not at increased risk from coronavirus, it’s vital that you follow physical distancing measures and government guidance to protect yourself and reduce the number of people who get the virus. To find out what you need to do, visit our page on coming out of lockdown and staying safe.

If you have a heart condition

If you are living with a heart condition, it is normal to feel worried about how coronavirus might affect you. While you are at no higher risk of developing it than anyone else, you do have a higher risk of complications from coronavirus if you do get it.

The best thing you can do is to take steps to reduce your risk of getting coronavirus. However you should also make sure that you continue to look after yourself, manage your condition well and try to plan ahead as the virus continues to spread.

Those at increased risk from coronavirus

If you are already living with a heart condition and you get coronavirus, you have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill. Your level of risk also depends on things such as your age, your overall health and whether you have other health conditions.

Very high risk

There are some health conditions which put people at very high risk of becoming seriously ill if they get coronavirus. You can find the full list of these health conditions on the NHS Inform website.

The list includes those who are pregnant and have significant heart disease, and those who have had an organ transplant, such as a heart transplant.

If you have any of these health conditions on the list, you need to take extra steps to protect yourself. You can find out more information about this on our shielding page.

Increased risk

If you are not at very high risk, you are still considered to have an increased risk of becoming seriously ill from coronavirus if any of the following apply to you:

  • you are 70 or older (even if you don’t have any underlying health conditions)
  • you are under 70 but you have an underlying health condition – this includes anyone given the flu vaccination each year on medical grounds
  • you are pregnant.

You can find the full list of which health conditions put you at increased risk on the NHS Inform website. The list includes long-term heart disease, such as heart failure.

While not considered very high-risk, you may also still be at a higher risk if you have any of the following heart conditions:

  • You are over 70 and have heart disease
  • You have angina that impacts your life on a day-to-day basis or you often have to use your GTN
  • You have heart disease AND lung disease or chronic kidney disease
  • You have had open-heart surgery in the last 3 months
  • You have heart failure that impacts your life on a day-to-day basis or has resulted in being admitted to hospital in the last year
  • You have severe heart valve disease and you often feel breathless, still have symptoms despite taking medication or you are waiting for heart value surgery
  • You have any type of congenital heart disease and you have lung disease, heart failure, pulmonary hypertension or complex congenital heart disease (e.g. Fontan, cyanosis or single ventricle)
  • You have any type of congenital heart disease and you are over 70 or you are pregnant
  • You have any type of cardiomyopathy and often feel breathless, the cardiomyopathy impacts your life on a day-to-day basis, or you have problems with your heart function.

If you have any of these health conditions on the list, it is particularly important that you strictly follow the current government guidance to reduce your risk of getting coronavirus and of becoming seriously ill.

Phase 1 advice for everyone: physical distancing & government guidance

Even if you are not at increased risk from coronavirus, it’s vital that you follow physical distancing measures and government guidance to protect yourself and reduce the number of people who get the virus. To find out what you need to do, visit our page on coming out of lockdown and staying safe.

If you have had a stroke

If you have previously had a stroke, you may feel worried about how coronavirus might affect you. A stroke is a type of cardiovascular disease – a disease that can affect your blood vessels. Cardiovascular disease can affect the flow of blood around your body, including your heart and brain. It’s not clear how having cardiovascular disease might affect you if you get coronavirus. However, if you have cardiovascular disease, it’s thought that you have a higher risk of complications if you do get coronavirus.

Those at increased risk from coronavirus

If you have previously had one or more strokes and you get coronavirus, you have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill. Your level of risk also depends on things such as your age, your overall health and whether you have other health conditions.

Very high risk

There are some health conditions which put people at very high risk of becoming seriously ill if they get coronavirus. You can find the full list of these health conditions on the NHS Inform website.

If you have any of these health conditions on the list, you need to take extra steps to protect yourself. You can find out more information about this on our shielding page.

Increased risk

If you are not at very high risk, you are still considered to have an increased risk of becoming seriously ill from coronavirus if any of the following apply to you:

  • you are 70 or older (even if you don’t have any underlying health conditions)
  • you are under 70 but you have an underlying health condition – this includes anyone given the flu vaccination each year on medical grounds
  • you are pregnant.

You can find the full list of which underlying health conditions put you at increased risk on the NHS Inform website. The list includes stroke and other chronic neurological conditions.

If you have any of these health conditions on the list, it is particularly important that you strictly follow the current government guidance to reduce your risk of getting coronavirus and of becoming seriously ill.

Phase 1 advice for everyone: physical distancing & government guidance

Even if you are not at increased risk from coronavirus, it’s vital that you follow physical distancing measures and government guidance to protect yourself and reduce the number of people who get the virus. To find out what you need to do, visit our page on coming out of lockdown and staying safe.