Although far from definite, emerging evidence suggests that adults with recently diagnosed Covid-19 are at increased risk of newly-diagnosed hypertension following the acute infection.1-4
A retrospective cohort study involving a large national healthcare data base of the Department of Veterans Affairs found that, at a median follow-up of 126 days, Covid-19 survivors had an excess burden of newly-diagnosed hypertension (15/1000 patients) and were at higher risk of initiation of antihypertensive drugs compared to controls.2
Another retrospective cohort study involving over 80,000 adults 65 years or older (median follow-up 56 days) found an increased risk of newly-diagnosed hypertension (O.R. 4.4; 95% C.I. 2.27-6.37) in the Covid-19 group. 3 Even in a younger population (18-65 years of age), the same investigators found a significant increase (81%; 95% C.I. 10-196%) in the risk of newly diagnosed hypertension in the Covid-19 group compared to that of the control cohort. 4
Despite the inherent limitations in these retrospective studies, a cause-and-effect relationship between Covid-19 and subsequent diagnosis of hypertension is plausible given the known affinity of SARS-CoV-2 for ACE2 receptors and endothelial cells. 5 Of interest, hyperreninemia associated with reduced glomerular filtration rate has been reported in some patients with Covid-19 requiring prolonged intensive care. 6
Bonus Pearl: Did you know that Covid-19 survivors have also been reported to have an increased risk of stroke, transient ischemic attack, ischemic heart disease, pericarditis, myocarditis, heart failure, dysrhythmia, and thromboembolic disease, independently of pre-existing hypertension and other cardiovascular risk factors? 7
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- Shibata S, Kobayashi K, Tanaka M, et al. Covid-19 pandemic and hypertension: an updated report from the Japanese Society of Hypertension project team on Covid-19. Hypertens Res 2022 Dec 23:1-12. COVID-19 pandemic and hypertension: an updated report from the Japanese Society of Hypertension project team on COVID-19 – PMC (nih.gov)
- Al-Aly Z, Xie Y, Bowe B. High-dimensional characterization of post-acute sequelae of Covid-19. Nature 2021;594:259-64. High-dimensional characterization of post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Daugherty SE, Guo Y, Health K, et al. Risk of clinical sequelae after the acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection: retrospective cohort study. BMJ 2021;373:n1098. Risk of clinical sequelae after the acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection: retrospective cohort study | The BMJ
- Guney C, Akar F. Epithelial and endothelial expressions of ACE2:SARS-CoV-2 Entry Routes. J Pharm Pharm Sci 2021;24:84-98 Epithelial and Endothelial Expressions of ACE2: SARS-CoV-2 Entry Routes – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Cohen K, Ren S, Health K, et al. Risk of persistent and new clinical sequelae among adults aged 65 years and older during the post-acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection: retrospective cohort study. BBMJ 2022;376:e068414. Risk of persistent and new clinical sequelae among adults aged 65 years and older during the post-acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection: retrospective cohort study – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Hulstom M, von Seth M, Frithiof R. Hyperreninemia and low total body water may contribute to acute kidney injury in coronavirus disease 2019 patients in intensive care. J Hypertens 2020 May 28. Hyperreninemia and low total body water may contribute to acute kidney injury in corona virus disease 2019 patients in intensive care – PMC (nih.gov)
- Xie Y, Xu E, Bowe B, et al. Long-term cardiovascular outcomes of Covid-19. Nat med 2022;28:583-90. Long-term cardiovascular outcomes of COVID-19 – PMC (nih.gov)
Disclosures: The listed questions and answers are solely the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily represent the official views of Mercy Hospital-St. Louis, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Catalyst, Harvard University, their affiliate academic healthcare centers, or its contributors. Although every effort has been made to provide accurate information, the author is far from being perfect. The reader is urged to verify the content of the material with other sources as deemed appropriate and exercise clinical judgment in the interpretation and application of the information provided herein. No responsibility for an adverse outcome or guarantees for a favorable clinical result is assumed by the author. Thank you!