BREAKING COVID-19 News! Italian Study Shows That About 9% Of All Exposed To SARS-CoV-2 Will Develop New Onset Hypertension!
: Research findings from a recent Italian study has sent shockwaves through the scientific and medical communities, shedding light on a new aspect of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The study, conducted by the University of Insubria-Italy, Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri, IRCCS-Italy and Hospital S. Maria della Misericordia- Italy has revealed a significant and previously unnoticed association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and the development of new-onset hypertension. The implications of this discovery extend far beyond the acute phase of the virus, raising concerns about long-term cardiovascular consequences and other health issues form hypertension including glaucoma and kidney damage.
Pathophysiological mechanisms linking new-onset hypertension and COVID-19 in both the acute phase (left panel) and recovery (right panel) from infection.
The COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted a massive global burden, with over 770 million confirmed cases and nearly 6.9 million deaths reported worldwide. While the immediate impact of the virus on respiratory health has been well-documented, emerging research is uncovering additional health ramifications, particularly those related to cardiovascular health. This COVID-19 News
report delves into the details of the Italian study and explores the link between COVID-19 and hypertension, discussing the potential mechanisms at play and the wider implications for public health.
Previous COVID-19 News
reports by Thailand Medical News had also warned about SARS-CoV-2 infections triggering hypertension and in fact an Indian study showed a much higher figure of 32 percent of Post COVID individuals developing hypertension!
A previous study has also warned that even those getting the COVID-19 vaccines are at risks of developing hypertension.
The Italian Study
The Italian study conducted sought to understand
the specific effect of SARS-CoV-2 on blood pressure, both during and after the acute phase of the infection. The study reported a noteworthy increase in the risk of developing new-onset hypertension among COVID-19 patients. To elucidate the epidemiological burden of this phenomenon, the researchers performed a pooled analysis of four separate studies, which reported the crude incidence rates of new-onset hypertension among COVID-19 patients compared to contemporary controls.
The Study Findings
The results of the Italian study revealed a startling 65% increased risk of new-onset hypertension among COVID-19 patients when compared with the control group. Notably, the incidence of new-onset hypertension was 9% among COVID-19 patients, while it was only 5% among the control group. These findings suggest a significant connection between SARS-CoV-2 infection and hypertension, positioning new-onset hypertension as one of the most prevalent cardiovascular sequelae of COVID-19.
Implications for COVID-19 Patients
The implications of this discovery are threefold. First, elevated blood pressure during the acute phase of COVID-19 and uncontrolled in-hospital blood pressure have been identified as significant predictors of organ damage and a worse prognosis for COVID-19 patients. Hypertension is associated with an increased risk of admission to intensive care units, worsening heart failure, and a higher mortality rate in individuals hospitalized for COVID-19.
Second, new-onset hypertension is suspected to be a potential risk factor for long COVID, a condition characterized by persistent symptoms and complications that affect individuals long after their initial recovery from SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Additionally, it raises concerns about the occurrence of cardiovascular events in COVID-19 survivors, emphasizing the need for long-term monitoring and care.
It should also be noted that hypertension can also lead to glaucoma and also various kidney issues.
The Role of SARS-CoV-2 Spike Proteins and ACE2 Receptors
The pathophysiological mechanisms linking COVID-19 with new-onset hypertension are still not fully understood. However, research indicates that during both the acute phase of infection and the recovery period, the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins and angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors plays a significant role in raising blood pressure.
During the acute phase of infection, when SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins interact with ACE2 receptors, ACE2 malfunction occurs, primarily due to spike occupancy and ACE2 down-regulation. This disruption negatively affects the protective axis of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS), leading to an increased generation and activity of Angiotensin II (Ang II) and reduced formation of Angiotensin1,7 (Ang1,7). The accumulation of Ang II is associated with an increase in blood pressure and the development of hypertension.
A similar mechanism can be postulated in the post-recovery phase. Even after the acute phase of infection, viral fragments in the form of SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins can persist in various organs, potentially leading to persistent interactions with ACE2 receptors and, consequently, a continued elevation in blood pressure.
The Role of New SARS-CoV-2 Variants
The emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants has added another layer of complexity to the hypertension discussion. These variants exhibit specific mutations in the spike protein that enhance their affinity for ACE2 receptors, potentially increasing the risk of new-onset hypertension when compared to the original Wuhan strain. This aspect highlights the need for ongoing research and surveillance of new variants and their potential health effects.
The Italian study's findings have brought to light a previously overlooked connection between SARS-CoV-2 infection and new-onset hypertension. This association has important implications for the health and well-being of COVID-19 patients, with potential long-term consequences. The precise mechanisms at play, including the role of SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins and ACE2 receptors, are still under investigation. Furthermore, the impact of new SARS-CoV-2 variants on hypertension risk adds to the complexity of this issue.
As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential for healthcare providers, researchers, and policymakers to be aware of the increased risk of new-onset hypertension in COVID-19 patients. Timely screening measures are crucial for identifying individuals at risk of developing abnormal blood pressure levels and hypertension-related cardiovascular events. Additionally, the ongoing monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 variants and their potential health implications is essential to better understand and mitigate the risks associated with the virus.
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed European Journal of Internal Medicine.
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