COVID-19 may trigger new-onset high blood pressure

August 21, 2023- An analysis of electronic medical records for more than 45,000 people found that COVID-19 infection was significantly associated with the development of high blood pressure, according to research published in “Hypertension”, an American Heart Association journal.

This retrospective observational study is the first to investigate the development and risk factors associated with persistent high blood pressure in people with COVID-19 infection compared to influenza, a similar respiratory virus. According to the 2017 ACC/AHA Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults, hypertension is classified as having top and bottom numbers greater than or equal to 130/80 mm Hg.

The analysis found that 21% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 and 11% of those who were not hospitalized for COVID-19 developed high blood pressure, compared to 16% of people hospitalized with influenza and 4% of those not hospitalized for influenza. It also found that people hospitalized for COVID-19 were more than twice as likely and those not hospitalized are 1.5 times more likely to develop persistent hypertension compared to people hospitalized and non-hospitalized with influenza, respectively.

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