Amid the pandemic, another health problem is creeping up and it could just compound the already pressing health woes that many are facing. A recent study showed that there was an increase in the number of American adults who had uncontrolled blood pressure in 2017 to 2018 as compared to the years before.

The study published on Wednesday in JAMA Network, conducted by researchers from the University of Alabama, showed that there was a sharp 10 percent increase in cases of uncontrolled blood pressure in U.S. adults between 2017 to 2018. The researchers looked into the data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in the U.S. and analysed how adults suffering from hypertension from 1999 to 2018 controlled their blood pressure, taking note if there were changes in the manner that they controlled the condition.

Out of approximately 18,000 adults suffering from hypertension, researchers found that there was a proportional increase in terms of blood pressure control. From 1999 to 2000, there were 32 percent who were in control. From 2007 to 2008, the number increased to 49 percent. Between 2013 to 2014, it stabilised at 54 percent, but this dropped to less than 44 percent from 2017 to 2018.

The researchers made another analysis. This time around, they applied more stringent guidelines on blood pressure control that was released by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology in 2017. Applying this, they found that only 19 percent of adults in the U.S. were able to control their blood pressure.

The authors stated that their findings reveal so much about the real score when it comes to the awareness of American adults regarding their blood pressure. It denoted that a significant percentage of adults, aged between 18 to 44 were not aware that they are already suffering from hypertension. Thus, the authors recommended that blood pressure screening must be done even for younger adults.

High Blood Pressure in Adults
A US firefighter in Maryland takes the blood pressure of a suspected COVID-19 patient as he is transported to hospital Photo: AFP / Alex Edelman

Time and again, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that while hypertension may be common, it is still a dangerous condition. It can increase the risk of suffering from a stroke and heart disease. It must also be noted that hypertension is one of the risk factors of COVID-19. A hypertensive state would have a systolic blood pressure of above 140 mmHg and a diastolic pressure of above 90 mmHg.