High blood pressure may double risk of severe Covid even after full vaccination

Fitness & Health:

At the time of writing (21st July) the UK is in the middle of its fifth wave of coronavirus, a wave driven by two subvariants of Omicron, BA.4 and BA.5. These two variants have done here what they have done in other countries and seen case numbers sky rocket. They have also seen symptoms change too with a sore throat now the dominant symptom. What this means is the Covid landscape is changing, but that’s not all, scientific understanding is changing too.

As the pandemic has gone on, scientists and doctors have gotten better at predicting how Covid will react to the human body and what factors can influence outcomes.

For example, they now know weight plays an important factor and that the more weight someone carries, the more likely they are to experience severe disease.

However, not only does weight play a role, so do pre-existing conditions, such as high blood pressure.

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Recent research from the American Heart Association (AHA) has found people with high blood pressure were over twice as likely to experience severe Covid than those who don’t.

What surprised researchers is this was the calculated risk even after full vaccination.

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Study lead author assistant Professor Joseph Ebinger said: “Our data found that it is not just older adults with underlying health conditions who are vulnerable.

“Breakthrough Omicron infection severe enough to cause hospitalisation can happen to an adult of any age, especially if a person has high blood pressure, even if they have no other major chronic disease.”


In light of the findings Ebinger said: “We need to raise awareness and understanding that receiving three doses of a vaccine may not prevent severe COVID-19 in everyone, especially among people with high blood pressure.

“We also need more research to understand why there is a link between high blood pressure and an excess risk for more severe COVID-19 illness.”

As a result, this data suggests greater awareness needs to be made of the risks faced by those with high blood pressure and further research needs to be done into this field.

It also raises questions about the effectiveness of the current vaccines.

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How long will that take?

‘Updating’ a vaccine takes time, it’s not like updating a smartphone; it’s a case of months rather than minutes.

However, they aren’t the only defence against Covid; there are antiviral treatments which work effectively too.

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In the meantime, people can also take action of their own by self-isolating and resting if they notice any of the symptoms of Covid:
• A sore throat
• A new and continuous cough
• A high temperature
• A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
• Shortness of breath
• Feeling tired or exhausted
• An aching body
• Headache
• Blocked or runny nose
• Loss of appetite
• Diarrhoea
• Feeling or being sick.

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