High Blood Pressure Increases Risk of Hospitalization or Death Due to COVID-19

People with high blood pressure had a 22 percent higher risk of being admitted to a hospital or dying from COVID-19, regardless of other factors, such as age, sex, ethnicity or weight status, according to a new U.K. study.

The research, published on November 9 in the journal PLoS One, is the first study to show the extent to which high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can be directly linked to patients developing severe COVID-19.

These findings further emphasize the importance of adequate blood pressure control, said senior study author Ian Wilkinson, BMBCh, a cardiology consultant at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) and professor of therapeutics at the University of Cambridge. “Unfortunately, post-pandemic, the rates of blood pressure control have worsened, as have the number of people being screened and identified as having high blood pressure,” he said.

Nearly Half of All U.S. Adults Have High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is when blood pressure stays higher than normal. In 2017, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association published new guidelines, and high blood pressure is defined as at or above 130/80 mmHg.