World Hypertension Day 2021: Can COVID-19 Increase Risk Of Pulmonary Hypertension? Know Causes And Risk Factor

COVID-19 can increase the chances of severe Pulmonary Hypertension and can even cause death. Know what are the causes and risk factors.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalUpdated at: May 11, 2021 16:39 IST
World Hypertension Day 2021: Can COVID-19 Increase Risk Of Pulmonary Hypertension? Know Causes And Risk Factor

Millions of people around the world suffer from hypertension and increased blood pressure. This is due to unwanted stress which occurs disproportionately to everyone at some stage. Hypertension is a major cause of cardiovascular diseases and premature deaths worldwide. During this pandemic, the rate of people suffering from hypertension has gone high because of increased stress and panic. To mark the importance of World Hypertension Day, OnlyMyHealth will be bringing you stories and facts about different types of hypertension this week. We can together improve the medical condition of our surroundings and people around us. Today, let us know about Pulmonary Hypertension.


Pulmonary Hypertension

It is a type of high blood pressure which affects arteries in lungs and right portion of your heart. In many cases blood vessels in your lungs are narrowed, blocked or destroyed in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) which is one form of pulmonary hypertension. This damage in the lungs slows down the flow of blood passing through the lung because of which heart is put to extra pressure to pump blood. This extra pressure causes heart muscles to become weak and sometimes results in failure.

Relation Of Pulmonary Hypertension With COVID-19

Dr. Haleema Yezdani, (MBBS, Dip. Diabetology) FICM Tele-consultant at Cartula Healthcare Hospital, Bangalore, helps us know the increases risks of COVID on Pulmonary Hypertension. According to her, cases of Pulmonary Hypertension have significantly increased over this pandemic. Reason behind this is that this disease cause blockage in the lungs which makes pressure on the heart. It increases the vulnerability of the patient and if he gets tested with COVID-19 then immediate hospitalisation is required. 

Pulmonary Hypertension along with corona can be deadly and increases the chances of heart attacks and strokes. It can get worse with age and therefore cause premature death even if the patient gets COVID negative. It can be reduced with the help of treatment but there is no cure which can treat the person totally. Hence one should seek medical care instantly if one suffers from this disease and get COVID-19 infection.

Symptoms Of Development of Pulmonary Hypertension

  • Shortness of Breath while exercising or physical activity
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or fainting spells
  • Chest pressure or pain
  • Swelling in ankles, legs and abdomen
  • Bluish color lips and skin
  • Racing pulse or heart palpitation 


What are the Causes of Pulmonary Hypertension?

There are four chambers in Heart two upper (atria) and two lower (ventricles). Blood releases carbon-dioxide and picks oxygen. The blood normally flows easily through blood vessels in your lungs to the left side of your heart. When the cells that line pulmonary arteries changes, it causes arteries to become stiff, swollen and thick. These changes may slow down or block blood flow in the lungs which causes pulmonary hypertension.

Most of the people do not realize they have pulmonary hypertension until the symptoms become significant which causes harm to their body. There are 5 groups in which pulmonary hypertension are classified. All of them have some specific causes.

Also Read- Know The Risk Factors Of COVID-19 On Children Suffering From Cystic Fibrosis

Groups and Causes of Pulmonary Hypertension-

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

•Caused by genetic mutation passed through families

•Use of some prescribed diet drugs or illegal drugs such as methamphetamines and others.

•Heart Problems present at birth

•Connective tissue disorders such as lupus, HIV and chronic liver diseases.

Pulmonary Hypertension causes by left-sided heart disease

•Left-sided heart valve disease, such as mitral valve or aortic valve disease

•Failure of lower left ventricle


Pulmonary Hypertension caused by lung disease

•Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

•Pulmonary fibrosis

•Obstructive sleep apnea

•Long-term exposure to high altitudes in people who may at risk of pulmonary hypertension

Pulmonary Hypertension Caused by blood clots

•Chronic blood clots in the lungs

•Other clotting disorders

Pulmonary Hypertension triggered by other health conditions

•Blood disorders including polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia

•Inflammatory disorders such as sarcoidosis and vasculitis 

•Metabolic disorders including glycogen storage diseases

•Tumours pressing against pulmonary arteries

•Kidney diseases

Risk Factors Exposing To Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension increases mostly between the age of 30-60 years but due to this COVID-19 strain, the chances of getting severe has increased a lot. Adults are at higher risk or mortality and it can cause adverse affects to their health.

  • A family history of Pulmonary hypertension or similar kind
  • Being overweight
  • Blood clotting disorders or family history of blood clots in the lungs
  • Exposure to asbestos 
  • Genetic disorders including congenital heart disease
  • Living at high attitude 
  • Use of certain weight-loss drugs
  • Consumption of cocaine or any such illegal drugs
  • Use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors used to treat depression and anxiety in people.


Complications Of Pulmonary Hypertension With COVID-19

Corona virus causes severe damage to the lungs and cause issues related to heart. If a person has pulmonary hypertension the damage increases and causes health conditions which may be hard to revive. It can cause heart attacks in the patients, blood clotting which has also increased in the second strain of COVID-19, Arrhythmia which is irregular heartbeats, bleeding in lungs and pregnancy complications. Therefore it becomes even more important to safe guard yourself from corona if you are at risk of Pulmonary Hypertension.

Also Read- This Study Finds Why Treating COVID-19 Is So Difficult


COVID-19 has increased the risk of patients suffering from pulmonary hypertension and have added chances of mortality. Pulmonary Hypertension is a type of increase in blood pressure due to excessive pressure created on heart to pump blood. This happens because the lung passage is partially blocked and hence pressure on heart increases. There are 5 groups of pulmonary hypertension which has different causes attached to it. Complication of Pulmonary Hypertension in times of corona has significantly increased. It can cause severe heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and bleeding in lungs. Therefore precautions should be taken and try to avoid as much contact from surroundings.

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