As several scientific studies have already shown, many patients continue to experience different health problems after recovering from COVID-19, and some of the symptoms they experience can persist for months. Now, new research has found that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection is also significantly associated with the development of arterial hypertension in people who did not previously have this condition.
“Although COVID-19 is typically more severe in patients with pre-existing high blood pressure, including higher rates of hospitalization and mortality compared with people with normal blood pressure, it is unknown whether the SARS-CoV-2 virus can trigger the development of arterial hypertension, or worsen pre-existing hypertension”, has stated Tim Q. DuongProfessor of Radiology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System in New York and lead author of the study.
The study authors analyzed the electronic medical records of 45,398 people with COVID-19 who were hospitalized between March 1, 2020, and February 20, 2022, and of 13,864 people with influenza without COVID-19, hospitalized between January 2018 and on February 20, 2022, who returned to the hospital system for any medical reason in a mean follow-up period of six months.
“Patients at risk should be screened for hypertension after COVID-19, to allow earlier identification and treatment of associated complications”
This analysis revealed that the 21% of people hospitalized for COVID-19 and the 11% of those not admitted due to the disease developed high blood pressure, compared with 16% of those hospitalized for influenza and 4% of those not admitted for influenza. Furthermore, people hospitalized for Covid-19 were more than twice as likely to develop persistent hypertension compared to people hospitalized and not hospitalized for influenza.
Certain treatments increased the risk of persistent hypertension
The analysis also indicates that people infected with SARS-CoV-2 over the age of 40, black adults, or those with previous conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary artery disease, or chronic renal failure, They were at high risk of developing arterial hypertension. Besides, the persistent high blood pressure was more common among people infected with SARS-CoV-2 who received treatment with vasopressors and corticosteroids during the pandemic.
“Given the large number of people affected by Covid-19 compared to the flu, these statistics are alarming and suggest that many more patients are likely to develop hypertension in the futurewhich can pose a significant burden to public health,” Duong said.
“These findings should raise awareness to screen patients at risk for hypertension after COVID-19 disease, to allow earlier identification and treatment of complications related to it,” added the expert.
The authors have noted that the people in the study came primarily from communities with a low socioeconomic status, which may increase your susceptibility to developing hypertension after infection with Covid-19. The results of his research have been published in Hypertensionthe magazine of the American Heart Association.