Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – High blood pressure is one of the known risk factors for severe “Covid-19” disease, the extent of hospitalization and death. Research has shown that high blood pressure doubles the risk of severe Covid-19, despite full immunization.
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury, with two numbers, upper or systolic, which represents the maximum pressure in the arteries, and lower or diastolic, which shows the pressure in the arteries when the heart muscle is at rest between beats.
But what is considered high enough in a blood pressure reading to cause this risk? Until now, scientists weren’t sure. But a new study conducted in England, and published in the journal “PLOS One” on Wednesday, answered that question.
“We found that people with diagnosed high blood pressure had a significantly increased risk of developing Covid-19,” Holly Pavey, the study’s lead author and a doctoral student at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, which is funded by the British Heart Foundation, told CNN. The upper reading exceeded 150 mmHg, or the lower reading exceeded 90 mmHg, compared to the target blood pressure (120-129/80-89 mmHg).”
The research found that people with this level of uncontrolled high blood pressure are more likely to recover and die from the Corona virus, apart from other known risk factors such as age, race, or obesity.
The new study is able to delve deeper into this, and be more specific because of the inherent integration of the UK’s National Health Service.
This level allows for data sharing and access to “accurate data about patients’ long-term blood pressure control,” according to Dr. Joseph Ebbinger, associate professor of cardiology and director of clinical analysis at the Smidt Heart Institute of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in Los Angeles. American.
Ebbinger, who was not involved in the study, explained that “they found that it was not only related to the diagnosis of high blood pressure, but to the increased risk in parallel with high systolic blood pressure, which is a measure of lack of control.”
Ebinger regrets that many people fail to control their blood pressure properly, even after being diagnosed with it and taking medications.
“It is estimated that less than half of the people diagnosed with high blood pressure actually have their high blood pressure under control, which is a huge problem,” he explained.
He continued, “This is due to a myriad of factors, including: lack of diagnosis, lack of awareness, non-adherence to medication, and inadequate treatment.”
On the positive side, the new study found that success in lowering blood pressure through medication was associated with a corresponding reduction in the risk of severe Covid-19 infection.
“It is important that blood pressure checks are done regularly, and that doctors try to control the blood pressure of their patients,” Pavey said.
She explained that “controlling blood pressure to reach target levels is important, no matter what type of treatment is used to achieve this,” adding that “ultimately, controlling blood pressure will help reduce the risk of severe suffering from new strains of Covid-19, or other viruses in the future. “.
An introductory guide to blood pressure
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that “normal” blood pressure readings are usually between 120 mmHg systolic (the upper reading) and 80 mmHg diastolic (the lower reading).
Ebbinger said you’ll likely hear this number often. However, this may not be the number your doctor is targeting for your treatment.
He explained that doctors used to target a blood pressure reading below 140/90 to control the risk of cardiovascular disease and death. Then, in 2015, the results of the SPRINT test, or systolic blood pressure intervention trial, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, changed the thinking of many medical professionals.
The SPRINT trial found that targeting blood pressures below 120 systolic (the top number) among people with high blood pressure who did not have diabetes reduced the majority of heart disease cases and death. However, there were some side effects, according to the trial, including “a higher incidence of kidney injury, or acute renal failure in the intensive treatment group”.
Ebinger pointed out that this possibility raises concern when it comes to the elderly, who often suffer from multiple chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, and concerns about kidney disease, among others.
“Therefore, the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association guidelines bridged the gap in 2017, by establishing guidelines for a systolic reading below 130 and a diastolic reading below 80,” Ebbinger continued. This premise sparked some controversy among doctors. I think the lower level is better. We want to get that number down as much as we can.”
The following are the current medical guidelines recommended by the US Food and Drug Administration:
- A normal normal blood pressure is 120/80 or lower.
- Between 120/80 and 129/89 is classified as prehypertension, which means that your blood pressure is not as low as it should be, but not medically high.
- 130/80 is considered an initial warning, rated stage 1 high.
- 140/90 or higher is considered stage 2 blood pressure.
- 180/110 or higher, when this blood pressure is recorded more than once, the patient should seek medical treatment immediately.