Why Managing Blood Pressure Is Essential In A Pandemic

Closeup of blood pressure being taken; blog: Why Managing Blood Pressure Is Essential In A Pandemic

Staying home and social distancing is important to your health and the health of those around you, especially if you have a chronic condition like high blood pressure. However, that does not mean that you should stop visiting your healthcare team to continue monitoring and managing blood pressure issues. In fact, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it could be more important than ever for people with high blood pressure.

Managing Blood Pressure for Overall Health

According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of all American adults have high blood pressure (also called HBP or hypertension). They call it a “silent killer” because many people do not even know they have high blood pressure and it can be deadly if not treated. Because many people do not have obvious symptoms of the condition, getting screened for high blood pressure regularly is recommended. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends that all people three years and over have their blood pressure checked at least once a year.

If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you probably already know that it can be detrimental to your health in a variety of ways. It is particularly dangerous to your kidneys and cardiovascular system. Having uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of the following conditions:

  • Kidney disease or kidney failure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke 
  • Vision loss
  • Heart failure
  • Aneurysms
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
  • Angina
  • Sexual dysfunction

If you are diagnosed with HBP, seeing a doctor that specializes in treating hypertension is important so you can treat and control your condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only about 24% of adults with high blood pressure have their condition under control. However, it does not have to be this way. Many people with hypertension could control their blood pressure with lifestyle changes and inexpensive medications.

Monitoring and managing blood pressure is a critical part of maintaining overall health because it can affect the body in so many different ways. By controlling high blood pressure, patients can reduce their risk of experiencing the above serious complications. However, letting it go untreated can have big consequences. High blood pressure may even increase your chances of getting contagious illnesses such as COVID-19.

High Blood Pressure and COVID-19 

If you have high blood pressure, visiting your doctor to monitor your condition is crucial especially during times when contagious illnesses are circulating. According to a study shared by The Wall Street Journal, data suggests that high blood pressure might make patients more vulnerable to COVID-19, more likely to develop severe symptoms at any age, and more likely to die if they are older. 

However, more research is needed to determine if there is actually a link between high blood pressure and susceptibility to COVID infection. However, having high blood pressure does increase your chances of developing a condition that may require that you get care at the hospital or in a nursing home, where chances of infection are higher. 

There is ongoing research about whether or not certain blood pressure medications affect the coronavirus. Not much is known yet, so don’t base any decisions on your medication on what you read or hear from anyone but your doctor. Keeping in touch with a blood pressure specialist will allow a  patient to take advantage of the latest updated treatment recommendations in this time of rapidly evolving knowledge about COVID.

In order to stay as healthy as possible, there are steps that you and your healthcare providers can take to limit exposure so that you can safely continue to get the care you need. Ask your doctor about their office’s policies during the pandemic. They will have your health and safety in mind during treatment. Offices are limiting the number of patients they see, increasing sanitization measures, and reducing the amount of time that patients spend in common spaces. Many providers also offer vehicle appointments in parking lots, or telehealth appointments.

At Durham Nephrology, we provide continuous quality care to patients in Durham and Oxford, NC who are managing blood pressure and kidney disease. We are encouraging patients to continue attending appointments for monitoring and treating conditions like hypertension. Leaving blood pressure untreated is dangerous to your overall health and makes you more vulnerable to infections like COVID-19. 

When you visit our offices, you can be confident that we are taking the necessary precautions to protect the health of our patients as well as our staff. We are following all guidelines for sanitization, social distancing, and face coverings. If you have questions about managing your blood pressure and the steps we’re taking to keep patients safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, call us at  919-477-3005 to talk to a staff member and make an appointment.


04.15.2024 4 Common Conditions That Impact Kidney Health

Durham Nephrology specializes in high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease, and in numerous past blogs, we’ve explained how interconnected these two health conditions are. However, it’s important to note that high blood pressure is just one of many conditions that impact kidney health. The systems within our body are interconnected, but there are some […]

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