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Springfield cardiologist warns of COVID-19 risk for those with high blood pressure

Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 6:21 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - When it comes to high blood pressure and the coronavirus, a Mercy Hospital cardiologist said there’s no correlation.

But they do know if a patient with high blood pressure contracts it, they can have complications.

“They all tend to have worse outcomes if affected by the virus,” said Mercy Hospital Springfield Cardiologist, Dr. Prasad Gunasekaran.

Dr. Gunasekaran said it can even lead to complications.

“Blood clot formations; heart attacks; inflammation of the muscle, which we call Myocarditis; and spasm of the muscle, where the arteries shrink up and cause a whole lot of complications," said Dr. Gunasekaran.

That’s why he says it’s important to manage your high blood pressure.

“Salt restriction, try to stay away from greasy food, alcohol, talking to your physician. Exercise can really control your blood pressure," said Gunasekaran.

Gunasekaran said, since the pandemic, more people are not getting their routine check-ups. He also said the pandemic means more people are working at home and possibly eating greasy food, not exercising and having higher stress levels.

“People don’t tend to prioritize monitoring their blood pressure at home. We’re starting to see a surge of heart attacks," said Gunasekaran.

He said to not be scared of attending your routine check-ups out of fear of contracting the virus. Along with almost every pharmacy should have a station to check your blood pressure.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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