What is the relationship between coronavirus and high blood pressure? Do individuals with high blood pressure have a higher risk of getting the virus? Or does high blood pressure impact recovery? Today, we will be informing you about important facts you need to know about coronavirus and its relationship to high blood pressure.
Patients with high blood pressure have a higher risk of more severe complications if contracted with COVID19. Dr. Maria Carolina Delgado-Lelievre, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Miami said, if you are contracted with a viral disease that will cause damage to the lungs, you need a heart that can work with how your body responds to the virus. However, for those with hypertension, coronavirus will cause a systematic reaction in the body in a patient who is already at risk due to poor heart health. Because of this, the virus can attack multiple organ system in the body.
High blood pressure is known to be the most common type of heart disease in the U.S. and affects almost half of American adults, number resulting to about 108 million Americans. With individuals with cardiovascular disease at the most risk with COVID19, it is important to understand warning signs.
Hypertension will happen when an abnormality in blood vessels occur which can impair the way oxygen is transferred to the cells. According to a study of patients in Wuhan, China, a low blood oxygen level was common among those hospitalized with COVID19. Because high blood pressure does not come with noticeable symptoms, the best way to identify it is to do a blood pressure reading.
How to monitor your blood pressure (the American Heart Association):
- Have a blood pressure cuff. Dr. Delgado-Lelievre said, “today’s technology is accurate enough that using a digital wrist cuff can get a good blood pressure reading”
- Rest in a sturdy chair for at least five minutes; make sure to sit with your back straight and keep your forearms supported on a flat surface such as a table, and keep the blood pressure cuff placed directly above where your elbow bends
- Make sure to take the readings at the same time every day
- Any blood pressure reading of 120 over 80 is considered elevated. The first level of hypertension is defined as 130 or higher for systolic (the top number) and 80 or higher for diastolic (the lower number)
How to manage the risk:
- Maintain social distancing, wash hands often, and avoid touching your face
- Specifically for high blood pressure, try to relax as much as possible as stress can elevate the blood pressure level
- Hypertension is a genetic disease, however it has external factors that can make it worse such as lifestyle, diet and exercise
- Try relaxation exercises or lie down and listen to music
- Worst case, the American Heart Association says to take medications your doctor may have prescribed for blood pressure, including ACE inhibitors and ARBs
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