Study review shows hypertension may still be a risk factor for increased severity and deaths from COVID-19, as experts call for regular BP checks
This World Hypertension Day (17 May) Aussies are encouraged to roll up their sleeves and get a simple blood pressure check ‘Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer’, say experts
A new study review has suggested that patients with hypertension are at increased risk for greater severity of COVID-19 which can potentially lead to more COVID-19 deaths, prompting health experts to urge people to have regular blood pressure checks.
The research paper titled, “Hypertension and COVID-19: Current Evidence and Perspectives”, recently published in the biomedical journal, PubMed, examined earlier reports suggesting the increased risk factor. The researchers concluded that hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, still represents a “moving target” in COVID-19 management, recommending further clinical trials be undertaken.
This year the theme of World Hypertension Day (17 May) is Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer, with a focus on combatting low awareness rates among the general public, particularly as hypertension can have no immediate symptoms and is often called the “silent killer”.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), 1 in 3 people aged over 18 have high blood pressure, and men being more likely to have uncontrolled blood pressure.
As such, Blooms The Chemist is encouraging Australians to roll up their sleeves this month and get an accurate blood pressure check to ascertain if they may be at risk of hypertension so that appropriate steps can then be taken to help control it.
The same AIHW report noted that 1 in 4 men (25%) had measured (or uncontrolled) blood pressure compared with 1 in 5 women (20%) in 2018.iv High blood pressure puts extra stress on blood vessel walls and can lead to a range of health complications, including stroke and heart disease. It is not just older age groups that are risk, as even younger people in their 20s can be impacted by the adverse effects of having high blood pressure.
Major contributors to high blood pressure include poor diet (especially high salt intake), being overweight, excessive alcohol consumption and insufficient physical activity.
Blooms The Chemist Pharmacist and hypertension expert, Andria Aird, says high blood pressure is an epidemic and is a strong advocate for having an accurate measurement.
“High blood pressure may be an indicator of other underlying health concerns and may lead to heart attacks, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. Other potential side effects include eye damage, kidney damage, erectile dysfunction, and memory loss.2
“Hypertension can often have no symptoms. Sometimes people have come into our pharmacy to have their blood pressure tested and shown a systolic reading of up to 200 mmHg without even knowing it.”
A healthy reading is considered systolic pressure of less than 140 mmHg and a diastolic pressure of less than 90 mmHg.
We all know how important it is to maintain our health and wellness. Getting into the habit of having a regular blood pressure check could save your life.
“With World Hypertension Day coming up this month, we encourage Australians of all ages to pop into a Blooms The Chemist today to get a blood pressure check, or visit their local GP,” concludes Aird.