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CNN.com: Keeping Your Blood Pressure Below This Number Reduces Risk of Severe COVID, Study Finds

CNN.com recently interviewed Joseph Ebinger, MD, cardiologist and director of Clinical Analytics at the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai, about new research showing an increased risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 for patients with high blood pressure whose upper number exceeds 150 mmHg or lower number exceeds 90 mmHg.

Researchers already knew that hypertension doubled the likelihood of developing severe COVID-19, even in fully vaccinated and boosted patients. But the new study, published in the journal PLOS One, was the first to identify the specific blood pressure readings that trigger that risk. Ebinger, who was not involved in the study, explained the link between that risk and the systolic (upper) blood pressure reading.

“They found it’s not just the diagnosis of high blood pressure—yes or no—but that the risk goes up as your systolic blood pressure goes up, which is really a measure of lack of control,” Ebinger told CNN.com.

Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It’s estimated that less than half of individuals with a diagnosis of high blood pressure actually have control over their hypertension, so this is a big problem,” Ebinger told CNN.com. “That’s due to a myriad of factors: underdiagnosis, lack of awareness, medication nonadherence and undertreatment.”

Ebinger, also an assistant professor of Cardiology, told CNN.com that different types of physicians may target blood pressure readings differently.

“I’m a cardiologist, and we believe lower is better. We want to push that number down as much as we can,” Ebinger said.

Click here to read the complete article from CNN.com.