Got Allergies? Watch Your Blood Pressure

News Brief: A history of allergies might predict heart problems

Robert Roy Britt
2 min readApr 18, 2022

Image: Pixabay

Allergies have been linked to a higher risk of heart disease in past studies, but the findings haven’t been convincing. A new study finds “adults with a history of allergic disorders have an increased risk of high blood pressure and coronary heart disease, with the highest risk seen in Black male adults.”

The study drew from data on 34,000 Americans averaging 48.5 years old. Those with a history of allergies — including asthma as well as other respiratory allergies and digestive and skin allergies — had a 1.45 times higher risk for the two cardiovascular conditions. The researchers accounted for potential confounding factors such as age, gender, smoking and alcohol.

“For patients with allergic disorders, routine evaluation of blood pressure and routine examination for coronary heart disease should be given by clinicians to ensure early treatments are given to those with hypertension or coronary heart disease,” study leader Yang Guo, PhD, of Peking University Shenzhen Hospital, says in a statement.

The findings, which have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, were presented this month at a meeting of cardiologists in Asia. More research is needed to confirm the conclusions, the researchers note.

On a related note, it’s known that decongestants and corticosteroids, both commonly used to battle seasonal allergies, can raise blood pressure or worse already high blood pressure.

Meanwhile, the science of blood pressure — including what is considered “high” — has changed a lot in recent years. If you or a loved one experience allergies, you might wish to learn more about this, as well as how to measure blood pressure properly, from previous stories I’ve written:

Your support makes my health reporting and writing possible, including succinct news briefs like this one as well as weekly features. You can sign up to receive an email when I publish a story, or become a Medium member to directly support me and other writers and gain full access to all Medium stories.

Robert Roy Britt

Founder/editor of Wise & Well on Medium & the Writer's Guide at & author of Make Sleep Your Superpower