Exploring the new normal’s highs and lows have impacted our sleep, changed how we work, and even taken a toll on our waistlines. What about other vital signs, such as our blood pressure? According to a new study, blood pressure increased in adults in the United States during the pandemic compared to previous, non-pandemic years.
The pressure exerted by blood against the arterial walls of a person is referred to as blood pressure. Doctors take blood pressure at two points; when the heart is pumping (systolic blood pressure) and when the heart is resting between beats (diastolic blood pressure).
Studies Conducted On High Blood Pressure and COVID-19:
A research letter was published in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Circulation journal on December 6, 2021. The letter, titled, Rise in Blood Pressure Observed Among US Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic, revealed the findings of a Cleveland Clinic and Quest Diagnosis study. This study looked into how recent events could have caused slight increases in blood pressure among participants in various employee wellness programs across the country.
According to the study, there were no significant differences in blood pressure between 2019 and January to March of 2020. Blood pressure levels increased significantly from April to December of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The changes in systolic blood pressure ranged from 1.10 to 2.50 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and from 0.14 to 0.53 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure.
These rises were observed in men and women of all ages and races. On the other hand, women experienced noticeable overall spikes in blood pressure, while older people experienced changes in systolic numbers. Some of the younger participants saw changes in their diastolic numbers as well.
Causes Of Rising In Blood Pressure Levels In COVID-19 Pandemic:
High blood pressure can be caused by various factors, including poor dietary habits, a lack of exercise, central obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, and a failure to take prescribed blood pressure medications.
Other research shows that lifestyle habits such as excessive alcohol consumption worsened during the pandemic, so it is not surprising that blood pressure rose.
What are the best ways to keep your blood pressure under control if you have COVID-19?
If you’re at home, check your blood pressure, but make sure you’re using a validated monitor. This simply means that the monitor has been clinically validated. Your local pharmacist, as well as you can use smart watches or Apps, are excellent resources. Second, unless your doctor instructs you otherwise, continue to take your blood pressure medications as directed. Finally, stay hydrated and eat a heart-healthy diet.
Some patients also found it challenging to contact their doctors and request prescription refills. Some people stopped taking their medications, which caused their blood pressure to rise. This is something we need to inform patients about — that they mustn’t stop taking the tablets.
If you are reluctant to see your doctor at their clinic or hospital. You can consult the best general physicians in Islamabad. It helps monitor your blood pressure and keep its levels to healthy limits.
COVID-19 Vaccine And Blood Pressure:
The COVID-19 vaccine appears to have no direct effect on blood pressure. However, a tiny percentage of people may experience increased blood pressure if they are highly anxious or have a strong pain response when they receive the vaccine. Alternatively, a sudden drop in blood pressure may occur in the infrequent case of a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine (anaphylaxis). Waiting 10-15 minutes after receiving the vaccine is reasonable in either case, as these infrequent reactions usually occur within minutes of receiving the vaccine.
We are still facing the new variants of the coronavirus, and that’s why it is too early to say anything about the effects of COVID-19 on our general health. But health professionals are finding and suggesting ways to keep us healthy during this pandemic.