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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 308-309

Worsening of the hypertension crisis during coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic − are we ready?

1 Department of ENT and Head & Neck Surgery, AIIMS Mangalagiri, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Community and Family Medicine, AIIMS Mangalagiri, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India

Date of Submission25-Jan-2022
Date of Decision06-Jul-2022
Date of Acceptance19-Jul-2022
Date of Web Publication30-Sep-2022

Correspondence Address:
MS DNB Satvinder S Bakshi
Department of ENT and Head & Neck Surgery, AIIMS, Mangalagiri, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, PO Box 522503
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/azmj.azmj_7_22

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How to cite this article:
Bakshi SS, Kalidoss VK. Worsening of the hypertension crisis during coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic − are we ready?. Al-Azhar Assiut Med J 2022;20:308-9

How to cite this URL:
Bakshi SS, Kalidoss VK. Worsening of the hypertension crisis during coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic − are we ready?. Al-Azhar Assiut Med J [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Jan 27];20:308-9. Available from: http://www.azmj.eg.net/text.asp?2022/20/3/308/358039

Dear Editor,

Hypertension has emerged as a health problem of epidemic proportion in the last century. Worldwide, 1.13 billion people are hypertensive, and it is one of the leading causes of premature death worldwide [1]. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has stretched the already overburdened health care system, especially in developing countries. The enforcement of lockdowns, fear surrounding the epidemic, and reduced incomes have resulted in reduced mobility and access to routine health care to people suffering from hypertension. This scenario possess a real threat to the world after COVID-19 pandemic as there can be massive increases in the burden of uncontrolled hypertension and its associated complications. We offer some possible solutions to prevent this dangerous scenario from developing.

Countries should recognize hypertension as an essential health service, and a comprehensive action plan should be developed to maintain continuity of service delivery in this COVID-19 pandemic lockdown period. WHO recommends the supply of antihypertensives for the ongoing management of patients as a high priority [2]. The continuity of hypertension management service delivery can be ensured by identifying novel sites and specific hospitals or health center, as the existing service locations may be unavailable because they have been designated for the exclusive care of people affected by COVID-19. Health awareness should be generated among people living with or affected by hypertension to continue medications, incorporate lifestyle changes, identify warning signs of a complication, and self-monitoring of blood pressure [2]. Patients on angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers should be specially cautioned to not to change medication without consulting the physician on receiving conflicting data on the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers during the COVID-19 outbreak [3]. Lifestyle changes like low salt intake, regular physical activity, avoiding smoking, and restrict alcohol or drug use need to be reinforced.

Governments should draft policies for ensuring availability of at least 1-month supply of medication or longer to patients in conjunction with the private sector. For additional support for health care delivery, health workforce reform can be brought about by employing newly trained health staff, health staff from nonaffected areas, retirees, and from nongovernmental organizations [2]. Teleconsultation can be explored for the management of uncontrolled patients or patients needing dose adjustments [4]. Lastly, utilization of novel digital solutions like the use of blood pressure monitoring apps can be employed to monitor blood pressure patterns in patients with hypertension [5].

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

World Health Organization. Hypertension. April 19, 2020. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hypertension. [Accessed date 20 Jan 2020].  Back to cited text no. 1
World Health Organization. COVID-19 and NCDs. April 19, 2020. Available at: https://www.who.int/who-documents-detail/covid-19-and-ncds.  Back to cited text no. 2
Rami S, Kochen Michael M, Messerli Franz H, Christoph G. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19): do angiotensin‐converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers have a biphasic effect?. J Am Heart Assoc 2020; 9:e016509.  Back to cited text no. 3
Webster P. Virtual health care in the era of COVID-19. Lancet 2020; 395:1180–1181.  Back to cited text no. 4
Jamaladin H, van de Belt F TH , Luijpers LC, de Graaff FR, Bredie SJ, Roeleveld N et al. Mobile apps for blood pressure monitoring: systematic search in app stores and content analysis. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 2018; 6:e187.  Back to cited text no. 5


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