SRINAGAR – Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Saturday said the number of people with high blood pressure has increased since Covid-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic is causing a rise in blood pressure,” said DAK President and Influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
Quoting a study conducted on half a million adults published in the Journal Circulation, Dr Hassan said people had a significant rise in blood pressure during the pandemic year 2020 as compared to the previous year.
“The study found that the blood pressure increase affected all age groups, and both men and women, although larger increases were seen in women,” he said.
The DAK President said hospitals in Kashmir are witnessing more patients with high blood pressure during the pandemic.
“Persons who had normal blood pressure prior to pandemic are showing high numbers,” he said adding even those who were controlled on medication are reporting worsening of blood pressure.
Dr Nisar said Pandemic stress could be the reason for higher blood pressure levels.
“When you are in a stressful situation, your body produces hormones that can cause your heart to beat faster and narrow your blood vessels. If you are constantly in this fight or flight state, it can increase your risk of high blood pressure,” he said.
“Other factors responsible for high blood pressure levels during pandemic could be sedentary lifestyle, exercising less, eating more, sleeping less and not seeking regular health care,” he added.
General Secretary DAK Dr Arshad Ali said while during a pandemic it is important to get vaccinated and follow health guidelines, it is equally important to be mindful of chronic medical conditions like deteriorating blood pressure.
“People should manage their stress, eat a healthy diet, cut down salt intake, exercise regularly and monitor their blood pressure,” he said.
Spokesperson DAK Dr Riyaz Ahmad Dagga said high blood pressure, also known as hypertension is the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. It can also damage kidneys and eyes
“With respect to Covid-19, those with high blood pressure are at greater risk of severe disease if they get infected with the virus,” he added.