Adults with a history of allergies have an increased risk for high blood pressure and coronary heart disease, with the highest risk occurring among Black male adults, according to data from the National Health Interview Survey.
The study included adults with allergic disorders such as asthma, respiratory allergies, digestive allergies and skin allergies, according to a news release from the American College of Cardiology.
The study found that individuals with a history of allergies between the ages of 18 and 57 had a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, and study participants between the ages of 39 and 57 who were Black and male had a particularly high risk of coronary heart disease, according to the release. .
Asthma was the disorder that contributed most to the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, according to the study.
The research provides more evidence of a link between chronic inflammation and heart disease because allergic disorders often go hand-in-hand with inflammation, according to Dr. Eugene Yang, chair of the American College of Cardiology’s cardiovascular disease prevention section.
And while the study shows a link between allergies and heart disease, it doesn’t identify a cause, he said. One potential factor is that certain allergy medications raise one’s risk of high blood pressure, he said.
“I think the message to a consumer or a patient is that when patients or individuals are making decisions about taking allergy medications, for example, we want to avoid ones that contain stimulants because those types of over-the-counter medications can increase blood pressure,” he said.
For people with allergies or asthma, the key is finding healthy ways to control these disorders and treat the inflammation associated with them, he said. Also, quitting smoking, getting regular exercise and optimizing one’s weight can help reduce inflammation and lower one’s risk of heart disease, he said.