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October 4, 2023
It's common for blood pressure to spike during or after an illness, especially if you experienced a fever or are fighting an infection. But a recent study shows for some people who've recovered from COVID-19, blood pressure remains high for months. What's more, the data shows this new onset high blood pressure is more significant after people had COVID-19 than after they had other viruses, like the flu.
At present, there is no conclusive evidence explaining why certain patients develop high blood pressure after having COVID-19, but there are several theories.
Senior study author Tim Q. Duong, PhD, a professor of radiology and the vice chair for radiology research, said his team speculates that COVID-19 can stimulate the hormone system responsible for regulating blood pressure, called the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS). This stimulation may result in higher blood pressure. "hyperinflammation, cardiovascular and respiratory stress, metabolic stress during acute COVID-19, the general pandemic stress, and reduced physical activity during the pandemic could also trigger new hypertension," Duong mentioned.
It is advised that patients and their healthcare providers work together to monitor for post-COVID-19 complications, including high blood pressure. It is recommended to pay close attention to one's blood pressure levels and get regular monitoring. High blood pressure is a serious health problem, even when it's not related to COVID-19. People who may have risk factors for high blood pressure—like a family history or certain health conditions—should be even more aware of their blood pressure if they get COVID-19.