Want to know if having high blood pressure puts you at higher risk of Covid-19? Read this guide and find out the necessary precautions you must follow.
- High Blood Pressure may not increase your chances of COVID-19, but it makes you less immune to the infection.
- Coronavirus can also cause direct cardiac damage if your heart is already compromised due to the effects of high blood pressure.
- If you notice symptoms like difficulty breathing, chest pain, or blue colouration in your lips, face, or nails, don’t hesitate to contact your nearest local healthcare practitioner immediately.
Since the emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19), many people have wondered whether having high blood pressure might increase their risk for severe illness and death. A new study shows this may be the case, regardless of other factors.
Researchers in the U.K. studied interactions between COVID-19 and high blood pressure in adults. They discovered that persons with high blood pressure were 22% more likely to be admitted to the hospital or die from the infection.
This suggests that taking measures to protect yourself during the outbreak is especially important for those with high blood pressure. If you have this condition, keep reading to know how you can keep yourself safe from COVID-19.
What’s The Link Between High Blood Pressure And COVID-19?
It is still an unknown fact why people with high blood pressure are at higher risk for COVID-19.
Research suggests that certain medications used to treat hypertension could weaken the body’s immune system, making COVID-19 more severe.
There’s also no proof that stopping these medications leads to less severe illness. However, there’s evidence to suggest that high blood pressure may itself increase a person’s risk for COVID-19.
While it isn’t clear how high blood pressure affects the immune system, it is true that it weakens the body’s resistance to the virus. Regardless of the reason, high blood pressure is a significant risk factor for COVID-19. So anyone who has it should seek treatment and avoid exposure to the virus as much as possible.
How Does COVID-19 Affect People With HPB Or Hypertension?
Although pneumonia is the most common complication of the virus, it can also damage the cardiovascular system. Since high blood pressure damages arteries and reduces the flow of blood to your heart, your heart works harder to pump enough blood.
This increased exertion might weaken your heart over time, causing it to be unable to pump the needed oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body. Coronavirus can also cause direct cardiac damage, which is especially dangerous if the symptoms of high blood pressure have already weakened your heart.
If you also have plaque accumulation in your arteries, the virus may increase the likelihood that those plaques will break apart and trigger a heart attack. Previous research has found that people with heart disease who suffer a respiratory illness like the flu or early coronavirus are more likely to have a heart attack.
So if you’re sick, even just a little bit, make sure you get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and avoid aspirin. Visit your nearest doctor immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms, such as chest pain, breath shortness, or sweating during fever waves. Taking these steps can help prevent a health crisis from turning into a heartbreaking tragedy.
What Measures Should You Take?
Preventing coronavirus is essential for everyone, especially for people with high blood pressure and other health conditions. Here are some tips to help:
- Get vaccinated against the virus from approved vaccines, and ensure you are updated on your vaccine booster shots.
- Take enough medicine to treat high blood pressure and other health conditions.
- Stay at home whenever possible and limit contact with others.
- Wear a face mask if you are indoors in public places like malls or libraries where there is substantial or high COVID-19 transmission.
- Stock up on medicines to treat high blood pressure and fever in case you get sick.
- Wash your hands more often with soap and warm water to prevent the spread of germs.
- Clean and disinfect all surfaces, such as countertops and doorknobs, that come into close contact with your body.
How To Control HBP If You Test Positive For COVID-19?
If you are at risk for developing heart disease, it is very important to control your blood pressure. The best way for this is to monitor your blood pressure at home, but ensure you are using a clinically accurate monitor.
Also, continue taking your medications as prescribed unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. Medicines may reduce the risks associated with hypertension and should not be decreased without consulting with an expert healthcare provider.
A healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat proteins, and limited amounts of salt helps lower blood pressure. Don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, as dehydration can cause increased blood pressure levels.
When Should You Seek Medical Help In COVID-19?
If you experience difficulty breathing, chest pain, confusion or disorientation, or blue colouration in your lips, face, and nails, please call the local healthcare provider.
Just in case you’re unable to rise from your bed, don’t wait; get to the nearest hospital immediately. Also, don’t hesitate to ask for help from family and friends if needed. Be sure to keep all medical documents about your COVID-19 infection in a safe place so that you can prove your case if necessary.
High blood pressure is a common health condition that increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other serious health problems. While it’s unlikely that high blood pressure increases your risk of getting COVID-19, it may raise your chances for serious illness if you contract the virus and become sick.
During the pandemic, patients with high blood pressure should continue to use typical blood pressure drugs such as ACE inhibitors and ARBs. However, if you do become ill with COVID-19, isolate yourself or seek medical emergency if required and follow their guidance on how to care for yourself.
Watson, Stephanie, “Coronavirus and High Blood Pressure: What’s the Link?”, Published on January 28, 2022 https://www.webmd.com/lung/coronavirus-high-blood-pressure
Solberg, Konrad, ”COVID-19 and high blood pressure: Cause for concern?” on May 19, 2021 https://www.vcuhealth.org/news/covid-19/covid-19-and-high-blood-pressure-cause-for-concern
Seladi, Jill, “What to Know About COVID-19 and High Blood Pressure” on August 6, 2020 https://www.healthline.com/health/what-to-know-about-covid-19-and-high-blood-pressure#health-management