December 11. 2021
Blood Pressure control has worsened from the Covid-19 Pandemic in the United States, with women and older adults having the highest blood pressure measures – before the pandemic, blood pressure measures were largely unchanged in previous studies
- Blood pressure control worsened in both men and women with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States in 2020.
- Women and older adults had the highest blood pressure measures during the pandemic.
- During the pandemic (April to December 2020), average increases in blood pressure each month ranged from 1.10 to 2.50 mm Hg higher for systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading that indicates how much pressure the blood is exerting against the artery walls with each contraction) and 0.14 to 0.53 mm Hg for diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number in a blood pressure reading indicates how much pressure the blood is exerting against the artery walls while the heart is resting, between contractions) compared to the same time period in 2019. Before the pandemic, blood pressure measures were largely unchanged when comparing study years.
- Higher increases in blood pressure measures were seen among women for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, among older participants for systolic blood pressure, and in younger participants for diastolic blood pressure.
- From April to December 2020, compared to the pre-pandemic time period, more participants (26.8%) were re-categorized to a higher blood pressure category, while only 22% of participants moved to a lower blood pressure category
The COVID-19 pandemic is associated with higher blood pressure levels among middle-aged adults across the U.S., according to new research published today in the American Heart Association’s flagship journal Circulation.
According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart disease, and nearly 75% of all cases remain above the recommended blood pressure levels.
Stay-at-home orders were implemented across the U.S. between March and April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted in a shift to remote health care for numerous chronic health conditions including high blood pressure and had a negative impact on healthy lifestyle behaviors for many people.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.