Hypertension patients need to be more cautious of Covid: Experts

As hypertension is one of the most common comorbidity among Covid-19 patients, health experts on Sunday emphasised that they should not be worried about developing the infectious disease, but, needs to be more cautious and take adequate measures.

According to the experts, inflammation in arteries caused by Covid-19 infection is affecting the autonomic nervous system which is resulting in the fluctuation of blood pressure (BP) in such patients.

Therefore, keeping a tab on BP levels among hypertension patients is a must, said Rakesh Chugh, Senior Consultant and in charge, CTVS, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, ahead of the World Hypertension Day, which is observed on May 17.

“This pandemic, which is giving anxiety and tension, is more dangerous for BP patients as many of them are frequently reporting with BP and pulse going up and down,” Chugh told IANS.

The experts mentioned that Covid-19 is known to involve people with existing hypertension more frequently than an otherwise healthy person.

According to TS Kler, Chairman, Fortis Heart and Vascular Institute, Gurugram and Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, it may be due to the fact the immunity is weaker in these individuals.

“However, the clear association of Covid-19 as a causative risk factor for hypertension is not established,” Kler told IANS.

The expert also warned that smoking can lead to adverse effects among hypertension patients as it has long been known that BP and heart rate increase during smoking.

These effects are specifically associated with nicotine.

“Smoking cessation is of utmost importance for managing the BP. So, quitting smoking not just reduces BP, but also reduces the risk of heart attacks and stroke in hypertension patients.

Other than that, exercise and a good diet also play an important role among hypertension patients.

Anand Kumar Pandey, Director and Senior Consultant- Cardiology, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, said that the stress and anxiety caused by this pandemic are potentially worsening our hypertension patients’ condition.

“Therefore, such patients need medical as well as emotional support in this unprecedented time,” Pandey noted.

Witnessing a decline in the last 24 hours, India on Sunday reported 3,11,170 new Covid-19 cases, and 4,077 fatalities, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

In the past 24 days, India’s daily Covid tally has plateaued over the three-lakh mark and over 3,000 casualties for 18 days.

(Vivek Singh Chauhan can be contacted at vivek.c@ians.in)