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High Blood Pressure More Likely after COVID-19 than Flu

JAMA. Published online September 6, 2023. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.16676

Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were more than twice as likely to develop new-onset hypertension than those hospitalized with influenza, according to a recent study. Outpatients with COVID-19 were 1.52 times as likely as their counterparts with the flu to develop high blood pressure, the researchers reported in Hypertension.

The results come from a retrospective observational study that included about 45 000 people with COVID-19 and nearly 14 000 with influenza. The researchers highlighted the potential for pandemic-related factors—the effects of isolation, stress, less physical activity, unhealthful diet, and weight gain, for example—to have influenced the association. Still, the results “should heighten awareness to screen at-risk patients for hypertension after COVID-19 illness to enable earlier identification and treatment for hypertension-related complications,” study coauthor Tim Q. Duong, PhD, said in a statement.

Emily Harris

Published Online: September 6, 2023. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.16676



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