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COVID continues to spread across the UK and around the world. More than 50,000 people have died from coronavirus in the UK, with infection rates continuing to rise. Scientists have now revealed that the lockdown may be raising the risk of high blood pressure.
Coronavirus is a deadly virus that’s infected more than 54 million people across the world.
Governments have ordered local and nationwide lockdowns to curb the spread of the infections in high-risk areas.
These lockdowns are designed to minimise social interaction, in a bid to quell the infection rate.
While scientists agree that lockdowns are the only way to stop the continuing rise in COVID-19 cases, experts have warned that it may be having serious consequences on blood pressure.
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Nationwide lockdowns have been linked with a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, according to scientists in Argentina.
Social isolation periods may be raising the risk of hypertension by up to 37 percent, they said.
It’s unclear exactly why lockdowns may be triggering high blood pressure.
But, it could be caused by the more sedentary lifestyle of staying at home, as well as changes to diet and increased alcohol consumption.
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“After social isolation began, we observed that more patients coming to emergency had high blood pressure,” said study author Dr Matias Fosco, of Favaloro Foundation University Hospital.
“There are several possible reasons for the connection between social isolation and high blood pressure.
“For example, increased stress because of the pandemic, with limited personal contact and the onset or exacerbation of financial or family difficulties.
“Changed behaviours may have played a role, with higher intake of food and alcohol, sedentary lifestyles and weight gain.”
Despite the apparent increased risk of high blood pressure, you can still protect against hypertension at home with a few lifestyle swaps.
You’re more likely to develop high blood pressure if you’re overweight or don’t do enough exercise.
Although you may be stuck at home for the second England-wide lockdown, there still exercises you can do at home to keep active.
A number of home workouts are available online for free which aim to keep you active in your own living room.
Your diet could also be impacting your blood pressure, warned the NHS.
It’s crucial that you eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
Adding too much salt to your diet may also be triggering high blood pressure.
Everyone should aim to eat less than 6g of salt in a single day – which is about the equivalent to a teaspoonful.
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