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Covid-19 is associated with an increased risk of hypertension, according to a study.

According to a recent study, Covid-19 may have a significant impact on the development of hypertension.

The study, which was published on Monday in the esteemed medical journal Hypertension, revealed that a significant proportion of patients, specifically more than 20% of those hospitalized with Covid-19 and over 10% of those not hospitalized, were diagnosed with high blood pressure six months subsequent to their first diagnosis. In contrast to individuals who contracted influenza, a different upper respiratory virus, those who were admitted to the hospital with Covid-19 exhibited a more than twofold increased likelihood of developing hypertension.

Based on the findings of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it has been shown that the presence of high blood pressure, medically referred to as hypertension, escalates the susceptibility to heart disease and stroke, which are identified as the primary causes of mortality inside the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that by 2021, hypertension will have been the direct cause of death for approximately 700,000 Americans.

The definition of hypertension may exhibit some variability among healthcare professionals; nevertheless, the most recent guidelines established by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology specify that a blood pressure reading of 130 over 90 is indicative of hypertension.

In the present investigation, the scholars examined the medical records of a cohort exceeding 45,000 individuals diagnosed with Covid-19, as well as roughly 14,000 individuals diagnosed with influenza, within the Bronx borough of New York City over the period spanning from 2020 to 2022. Prior to their viral infection, none of the patients had any prior medical records indicating a history of hypertension. During a six-month follow-up appointment, the researchers subsequently monitored the participants to ascertain any newly diagnosed cases of the cardiac problem.

In a comprehensive analysis, it was observed that those who were admitted to hospitals due to Covid-19 exhibited a diagnosis of hypertension at a rate almost two times higher than those who did not require hospitalization. Approximately 21% of individuals who were admitted to the hospital due to Covid-19 had hypertension, whereas only 11% of non-hospitalized individuals were found to have this condition.

Among the cohort of individuals who were admitted to the hospital due to Covid-19, a notable proportion, exceeding 20%, had the onset of hypertension during their hospitalization period, although lacking any prior medical record of elevated blood pressure.

In contrast to those who contracted influenza, patients afflicted with Covid-19 exhibited more adverse blood pressure outcomes.

The likelihood of developing high blood pressure was 2.23 times higher among hospitalized Covid-19 patients compared to hospitalized influenza patients. The likelihood of developing hypertension was found to be almost 50% higher in non-hospitalized Covid-19 patients compared to non-hospitalized individuals with influenza.

According to the findings, the prevalence of hypertension among individuals with Covid-19 is a cause for concern, considering the significant population impacted by the virus.

The study revealed a higher prevalence of hypertension within several demographic cohorts. Individuals who were aged 40 years or older, identified as Black, or had pre-existing medical illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary artery disease, or chronic renal disease exhibited an elevated susceptibility to the development of hypertension subsequent to contracting Covid-19.

Individuals who received vasopressor medications, a pharmacological category of treatments that induce vasoconstriction to elevate blood pressure, or corticosteroids, a specific class of anti-inflammatory drugs commonly prescribed for arthritis management, exhibited an increased susceptibility.

A statement by Dr. Tim Duong, a radiology professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and lead author of the study, was included in the announcement, “These numbers are concerning because they show that in the future, a substantial proportion of patients would acquire high blood pressure, which could represent a significant public health burden, given the larger number of persons impacted by COVID-19 compared to influenza.”

However, the precise mechanism by which the Covid-19 virus may induce the development of new-onset hypertension remains uncertain among scientists. The present study posits a theoretical framework suggesting that the coronavirus has the potential to invade cardiac cells, hence causing disturbances in the regulation of blood pressure. Additionally, it postulates that the occurrence of acute renal injury, a frequently observed complication in individuals hospitalized with Covid-19, could potentially contribute to the development of hypertension.

The survey additionally observed that a majority of the participants in the study originated from neighborhoods characterized by low socioeconomic position, perhaps augmenting their susceptibility to the development of hypertension. The presence of risk factors associated with poverty, such as heightened levels of stress and limited availability of nutritious food, may have contributed to the increased prevalence of hypertension.

According to the paper, it is recommended that further research be conducted to investigate the potential correlation with Covid-19 and elevated blood pressure. Additionally, this research should aim to determine the potential long-term cardiovascular consequences associated with this relationship. Currently, the available data has the potential to provide doctors with valuable insights on the potential association between Covid-19 and hypertension.

According to Duong, these results should increase awareness of the need to assess individuals who are at risk for hypertension following their recovery from COVID-19. This is crucial in order to facilitate the early detection and treatment of hypertension-related consequences, including cardiovascular and kidney diseases.

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