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Hypertension has been identified as a risk factor for COVID-19 and associated adverse outcomes. This study examined the association between pre-infection blood pressure (BP) control and COVID-19 outcomes using data from 460 general practices in England. Eligible patients were adults with hypertension who were tested or diagnosed with COVID-19. BP control was defined by the most recent reading within 24months of the index date (01/01/2020). BP was defined as controlled (<130/80mmHg), raised (130/80-139/89mmHg), stage 1 uncontrolled (140/90-159/99mmHg) or stage 2 uncontrolled ({greater than or equal to}160/100mmHg). The primary outcome was death within 28 days of COVID-19 diagnosis. Secondary outcomes were COVID-19 diagnosis and COVID-19 related hospital admission. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine the association between BP control and outcomes. Of the 45,418 patients (mean age 67 years; 44.7% male) included, 11,950 (26.3%) had controlled BP. These patients were older, had more co-morbidities and had been diagnosed with hypertension for longer. A total of 4,277 patients (9.4%) were diagnosed with COVID-19 and 877 died within 28 days. Individuals with stage 1 uncontrolled BP had lower odds of COVID-19 death (OR 0.76, 95%CI 0.62-0.92) compared to patients with well-controlled BP. There was no association between BP control and COVID-19 diagnosis or hospitalisation. These findings suggest BP control may be associated with worse COVID-19 outcomes, possibly due to these patients having more advanced atherosclerosis and target organ damage. Such patients may need to consider adhering to stricter social-distancing, to limit the impact of COVID-19 as future waves of the pandemic occur.

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Journal article



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COVID-19, Electronic health record, SARS-CoV-2