Managing blood pressure matters during COVID-19 pandemic

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Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the world’s leading killer and the current leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Regular medication and lifestyle changes offer a powerful combination for preventing or reducing health issues related to the heart.

Hypertension is the biggest risk factor for chronic disease burden across the world. Indians are more prone to hypertension and heart disorders, and are affected at a younger age than the Europeans. According to the International Journal of Hypertension, approximately 43% of the adults aged 30 years or above suffer from high blood pressure.

Currently, when India has become the second worst hit country by COVID-19 across the globe, every Indian has to take control of their health. There have been reports of increased risk of COVID-19 complications in individuals with comorbidities, and hypertension is one of them. It is important that you understand various risk factors and measures to control high blood pressure.

 

Risk factors for High Blood pressure

  • Age
  • Salt intake
  • Obesity and overweight
  • Poor dietary habits
  • History of diabetes
  • Alcohol consumption and Tobacco use
  • Stress
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Lifestyle changes

What can be the specific risk factors for uncontrolled hypertension during lockdown?

  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Lack of exercise
  • Unhealthy eating
  • Stress due to pandemic situation
  • Weight gain
  • Inhibition towards medications
  • Irregular follow ups

Key steps to have a healthy Blood pressure during COVID-19

  • Be physically active and exercise
  • Mind your eating behavior
  • Relieve stress
  • Manage your diabetes
  • Be regular with your medications
  • Consult your doctor for alternative modes of consultation
  • Continue taking your blood pressure medications as prescribed
  • If possible, measure your blood pressure at home and do not change your treatment without your doctor’s consultation
  • Low blood pressure can result from poor hydration. Thus ensure that you drink fluids throughout the day
  • Physical activity is the necessary as many of us are spending more time at home to minimize exposure to the virus. Going for walks outside the home, provided social distance is maintained, is a healthy and even morale-boosting activity during these difficult times
  • Routine for People with Hypertension

    • Get adequate sleep, eat balanced and healthy meals at the right time, do your daily routine tasks and take your medications on time and as prescribed by your doctor
    • Stay connected. Maintaining your emotional health and a happy mental status is even more necessary in these tough times. Stay connected with family and friends over the phone. It helps in elevating your mood and makes a big difference to your emotional well-being.

    Become more aware, show compassion, make the right choices, and influence a loved one so that they make healthy choices.

    • Choose heart-healthy foods.
    • Decrease the salt in your diet.
    • Lose weight
    • Get active.
    • Manage stress.
    • Avoid or limit alcohol.
    • Quit smoking.

     

    Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the doctors are their independant professional judgement and we do not take any responsibility for the accuracy of their views. This should not be considered as a substitute for physician’s advice. Please consult your physician for more details.

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