Doctor discusses rise in blood pressure during pandemic

Dec 7, 2021, 4:55 PM | Updated: Dec 8, 2021, 2:31 pm
blood pressure pandemic...
FILE: A doctor speaks to a patient as a sphygmomanometer, or blood pressure meter, lies on his desk (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — A recent study shows blood pressure spiked during the pandemic, and women saw the biggest increases.

Dr. Marion Bishop, an ER doctor who works in Logan, joined Utah’s Noon News with Maria Shilaos to discuss what this means for women.

Why do these findings impact women more than men? 

A study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic analyzed the data of 450,000 people from an annual employer-sponsored wellness program.

It found increases in blood pressure every month between April 2020 and December 2020, then compared it to the same year prior. The increases ranged from 1.10 to 2.50 mm Hg for systolic blood pressure, and 0.14 to 0.53 mm Hg for diastolic blood pressure.

“It’s not a surprise to any women that the pandemic has been more stressful with the workload,” Bishop said. “The things required of women have been higher than they have been for men.” 

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Another possible reason could be it’s harder for women to keep up with their regular healthcare, and make appointments regarding their health.

If you can’t name your blood pressure numbers off the top of your head, you are not alone. Bishop said most people don’t have an occasion to take these vitals unless they go to a doctor’s office for something else.

High blood pressure can have long-term problems, like strokes and heart attacks

What are some simple solutions to lowering your blood pressure?

“We need to make healthcare more accessible. It’s as simple as not missing your appointments,” Bishop said.

And if you’ve been scrambling, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.  

“Take up the offer from a neighbor to watch your children for a couple of hours so you can see your primary care doctor or so you can take a walk. It’s been a stressful time for all of us. We all have to look to prioritize our own healthcare and to extend a little kindness to someone who might be suffering.”

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Doctor discusses rise in blood pressure during pandemic