Trends of blood pressure control in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

IMPORTANCE: COVID-19 altered lifestyles and disrupted routine health care. Whether blood pressure (BP) control worsened during COVID-19 is unknown. OBJECTIVE: To understand whether home BP control worsened during COVID-19 across the United States (US) . DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A population-based analysis of home BP data from 72,706 participants enrolled in a digital health hypertension control program. Data was compared before (January 2019 to March 2020) and during (April 2020 to August 2020) COVID-19. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Monthly mean home BP readings, systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were quantified before and during the pandemic. Multivariable adjustments were made for age, sex, race, region, and months enrolled. Home BP readings were also classified based on monthly averages and highest home BP readings into risk groups: Stage 2 HTN: BP> = 135 or DBP> = 85; Uncontrolled HTN: SBP> = 145 or DBP> = 95; or Severely uncontrolled HTN: SBP> = 160 or DBP> = 100). RESULTS: Overall, 72,706 participants were enrolled in a digital health hypertension program between 1/1/2019 and 8/31/2020. Compared with participants pre-COVID-19 (n = 33,440), those during COVID-19 (n = 39,266) were of similar age (mean 53.0 ± 10.7 years vs 53.3 ± 10.8 years); sex (46% vs 50.6% female) and race (29.1% vs 34.2% non-white). Relative to pre-Covid (Apr-Aug 2019) the mean monthly number of home BP readings rose during COVID-19 (Apr-Aug, 2020), from 7.3 to 9.3 per month (P < .001). During COVID-19, participants had higher monthly adjusted mean SBP (131.6 mmHg vs. 127.5 mmHg, P < .001); DBP (80.2 mmHg vs. 79.2 mmHg, P < .001); and MAP (97.4 mmHg vs. 95.3 mmHg; P < .001). Relative to the pre-pandemic period, during COVID-19 the proportion of participants with a mean monthly BP classified as uncontrolled or severely uncontrolled hypertension also rose, 15% vs 19% and 4% vs 5%, respectively CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Based on home BP readings, mean monthly BP rose modestly after COVID-19, despite increased utilization of home monitoring. Further studies are needed to examine the longitudinal effects of the pandemic on cardiovascular disease risk factors, the impact of these on long-term population health.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shah, NP; Clare, RM; Chiswell, K; Navar, AM; Shah, BR; Peterson, ED

Published Date

  • May 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 247 /

Start / End Page

  • 15 - 23

PubMed ID

  • 34902314

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8662834

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-6744

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.ahj.2021.11.017


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States