Why blood pressure rises during the pandemic, plus what to do

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The pandemic has undeniably affected us mentally and physically in more ways than we can count. Constant stress and worry pay the price, and study confirm it: According to a new Cleveland Clinic study, there has been a significant increase in blood pressure among U.S. adults during a pandemic.

The researchers looked at nearly 500,000 people and compared pre-pandemic blood pressure with today’s blood pressure. They examined three years’ worth of data and found that there was a sudden spike in blood pressure between April and December 2020. So why is the pandemic having an impact on our blood pressure? so, and what can we do about it? Here’s everything you need to know.

How has the pandemic affected blood pressure?

It is most likely related to lifestyle changes since the onset of COVID-19.

“People are drinking more alcohol, not tracking their diet or exercise,” says PhD, Luke Laffin, MD, study author and co-director of the Center for Blood Pressure Disorders at the Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute at Cleveland Clinic. “That certainly plays a role. And also non-adherence to medication, if they are not taking their blood pressure medication prescribed or bought at the pharmacy and perhaps not seeing their doctor or healthcare provider regularly to adjust their medication if needed. ”

Related: The 25 best foods to eat for people with high blood pressure

Interestingly, everyone saw an increase in blood pressure, even those who did not have hypertension before. However, “the biggest increase was in women,” explains Dr. Laffin. “That’s a big difference.”

When blood pressure is at its highest

As for the most surprising finding from the study, Dr. Laffin says that’s when blood pressure is at its highest.

“Hypertension peaks at the end of the year and it really provokes more questions than it answers,” Dr. Laffin explains. “What happened to blood pressure in 2021? Will it continue to rise? Does it stay the same? This would also suck, because we’re not reverting to pre-pandemic levels. We’ll take a look at that — it’s just that the data isn’t available yet. But that is perhaps the most surprising and concerning feature.”

Related: 7 tricks to control your blood pressure quickly

What can this research tell us about the future?

No matter what’s happening in the world, it’s important to keep up with your medical care and overall health.

“I think the biggest thing is not evading medical care and neglecting chronic health conditions during a pandemic,” Dr. Laffin said. “All the public health message is about vaccinations and masks, all well and good, but we can’t ignore things that will have long-term effects on blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. some cases. . ”

If you are dealing with high blood pressure in such areas, the best way to control it is through healthy lifestyle changes: Eat a balanced diet, exercise, and stick to your regular routines. appointment for medication and health care. And if you haven’t had your blood pressure checked in a while, be sure to see your doctor as soon as possible.

Next: Sleep disturbances may be linked to more severe COVID outcomes.

The source

Luke Laffin, MD, study author and co-director of the Center for Blood Pressure Disorders at the Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute at Cleveland Clinic

https://parade.com/1306570/kaitlin-vogel/blood-pressure-pandemic/ Why blood pressure rises during the pandemic, plus what to do

Caroline Bleakley

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