The practitioner added: “We conducted this study to confirm or reject this impression.”
The doctor and his research fellows at Favaloro Foundation University Hospital, in Buenos Aires, collated data during March 20 to June 25, 2020.
In that time period, those in the hospital’s emergency department had their blood pressure recorded.
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There were 12,241 records of blood pressure readings for patients who, on average, were around 57 years old.
The most common reasons why people were in the emergency department consisted of:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain
During the three-month isolation period, 1,643 patients were admitted to the emergency ward.
The number of patients in the hospital’s emergency department was also 53.9 percent less than the three months prior to social isolation restrictions.
Before Covid restrictions were implemented, there were 3,563 patients who had been admitted to the emergency department in three months.
During the social isolation period, 23.8 percent admitted to emergency had high blood pressure.
It was also much higher than the time period just before the social restrictions were enforced, when it was 15.4 percent.
Dr Fosco commented on the findings: “There are several possible reasons for the connection between social isolation and high blood pressure.”
He mentioned increased levels of stress, limited social contact, financial difficulties and behaviour changes, such as higher intake of food and alcohol, and a more sedentary lifestyle.