Incidence of New-Onset HTN Higher for COVID-19 vs Influenza Patients

Hospitalized and nonhospitalized patients with COVID-19 are more likely to develop persistent HTN than those with influenza.

HealthDay News For patients with COVID-19, the incidence of new-onset persistent hypertension is higher than among those with influenza, according to a study published online Aug. 21 in Hypertension.

Vincent Zhang, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York, and colleagues conducted a retrospective observational study in a major academic health system in New York City involving 45,398 patients with COVID-19 (March 2020 to August 2022) and 13,864 with influenza (January 2018 to August 2022) without hypertension history.

Researchers found that new-onset persistent hypertension occurred in 20.6 and 10.85% of hospitalized and nonhospitalized patients with COVID-19, respectively. There was no variation in the incidence of persistent hypertension among hospitalized patients across the pandemic, while among nonhospitalized patients, the incidence decreased from 20% in March 2020 to about 10% in October 2020, and then plateaued. Compared with individuals with influenza, hospitalized and nonhospitalized patients with COVID-19 were 2.23 and 1.52 times more likely, respectively, to develop persistent hypertension. Persistent hypertension occurred more often in older adults, men, patients with preexisting comorbidities, and those treated with pressor or corticosteroid medications. Persistent hypertension was predicted with 79 to 86% accuracy in mathematical models. Overall, 21.0% of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 without prior hypertension developed hypertension during hospitalization.

“Given the sheer number of people affected by COVID-19 compared to influenza, these statistics are alarming and suggest that many more patients will likely develop high blood pressure in the future, which may present a major public health burden,” senior author Tim Q. Duong, Ph.D., also of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said in a statement.

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