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Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, can significantly weaken the immune system and compromise blood vessels, amplifying the challenges of combatting viral respiratory infections. In the second episode of Know Plan Go: Protect Yourself from Respiratory Infections, by Gulf News in partnership with Pfizer, Dr Sara Abdelmgeed breaks down different aspects of hypertension, highlighting its impact on blood vessels. She also discusses the ideal blood pressure readings and emphasises the need for consistent monitoring, especially at home, considering that over 40 per cent of hypertensive individuals might be unaware of their condition.

Due to the greater susceptibility of individuals with hypertension to complications from common colds and flu, Dr Sara underscores the importance of seeking immediate medical attention in case of flu-like symptoms. “In the long term, hypertension will affect the wall of the blood vessels and it can lead to complications in different organs. It makes it a challenge for the immune system to fight and kill viruses. So, people with hypertension, especially those who have uncontrolled high blood pressure, are at high risk of getting complications and severe respiratory infections compared to those with normal blood pressure,” says Dr Sara.

To watch the other episodes of the vodcast series, Know Plan Go, visit You can also listen to the episodes wherever you get our podcasts.