(HealthDay News) — For individuals with hypertension, worsening blood pressure (BP) outcomes were seen during the first 8 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online in Hypertension.
Hiroshi Gotanda, MD, PhD, from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues compared the level and trend (slope) of BP outcomes before the public health emergency declaration (prepandemic period: August 2018 through January 2020) versus after the stay-at-home orders (pandemic period: April 2020 through November 2020) among 137,593 adults with hypertension.
The researchers observed a considerable drop in the number of BP measurements early in the pandemic, followed by a gradual increase. Compared with the prepandemic period, systolic and diastolic BP increased by 1.79 and 1.30 mm Hg, respectively, during the pandemic period. In addition, there was a 3.43 percentage point decrease seen in the proportion of patients with controlled BP. A trend showing increasing control during the prepandemic period flattened during the pandemic period (+3.19 and +0.27 percentage points per year, respectively).
“We expected blood pressure control to be worse due to decreased physical activity, stress, poor sleep, and other cardiovascular disease risk factors that worsened during the pandemic,” Gotanda said in a statement. “But the results were better than we expected, probably because [of] the use of telemedicine and home monitoring of blood pressure.”