Covid-19 associated reduction in hypertension-related diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in Excellence Centers of the European Society of Hypertension

Thomas Weber, Jaques Amar, Tine de Backer, T Burkard, Marcus Van der Giet, Philippe Gosse, Andrzej Januszewicz, Thomas Kahan, G. Mancia, Christopher Clemens Mayer, Maria Lorenza Muiesan, George S. Stergiou, Konstantinos Tsioufis, Bernard Vaissen, Reinhold Kreutze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract Background The Covid-19 pandemic necessitated a decrease in non-Covid-19 related diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in many countries. We explored the impact on tertiary hypertension care. Methods We conducted an electronic survey regarding 6 key procedures in hypertension care within the Excellence Center network of the European Society of Hypertension. Results Overall, 54 Excellence Centers from 18 European and 3 non-European countries participated. From 2019 to 2020, there were significant decreases in the median number per centre of ambulatory blood pressure monitorings (ABPM: 544/289 for 2019/2020), duplex ultrasound of renal arteries (Duplex RA: 88.5/55), computed tomographic/magnetic resonance imaging angiography of renal arteries (CT/MRI RA: 66/19.5), percutaneous angioplasties of renal arteries (PTA RA: 5/1), laboratory tests for catecholamines (116/67.5) and for renin/aldosterone (146/83.5) (p < 0.001 for all comparisons, respectively). While reductions in all assessed diagnostic and therapeutic procedures were observed in all annual 3-months periods in the comparisons between 2019 and 2020, the most pronounced reduction occurred between April and June 2020, which was the period of the first wave and the first lockdown in most affected countries. In this period, the median reductions in 2020, as compared to 2019, were 50.7% (ABPM), 47.1% (Duplex RA), 50% (CT/MRI RA), 57.1% (PTA RA), 46.9% (catecholamines) and 41.0% (renin/aldosterone), respectively. Overall differences in reduction between 3-month time intervals were statistically highly significant. Conclusion Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures related to hypertension were dramatically reduced during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the largest reduction during the first lockdown. The long-term consequences regarding blood pressure control and, ultimately, cardiovascular events remain to be investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-79
Number of pages9
JournalBlood Pressure
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Research Field

  • Medical Signal Analysis


  • Covid-19
  • ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
  • renal artery imaging
  • blood and urine laboratory testing
  • European Society of Hypertension
  • Excellence Center
  • hypertension
  • health care


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