July 06, 2021 14:24
The number of patients with low blood pressure is increasing every year, particularly among men in their 70s and women in their 20s.
The reasons are that elderly men are most likely to take drugs that lower blood pressure as they suffer from autonomic nervous system disorders or cardiovascular diseases, while many women in their 20s suffer from iron-deficiency anemia caused by dieting or menstruation.
According to 2015-2019 data released by the National Health Insurance Service on Monday, 36,024 people were treated for low blood pressure in 2019, up 44.4 percent from 24,946 in 2015.
During this period, the number of male patients increased 48.6 percent from 11,053 to 16,430 and that of female patients 41 percent from 13,893 to 19,594. By age group, people in their 70s topped the list with 19.6 percent, followed by those in their 60s (16.5 percent) and 80s (14.2 percent).
The largest male group were in their 70s (26.9 percent), followed by those in their 60s (20.5 percent) and 80s (16.0 percent), whereas the largest female group were in their 20s (15.3 percent), followed by teenagers (15.0 percent) and those in their 70s (13.5 percent).
Low blood pressure manifests as weakness and dizziness when the systolic pressure is at less than 90 mmHg and diastolic pressure at less than 60 mmHg. Some patients faint.
Oh Seung-jin of the NHIs IIsan Hospital said, "If you have low blood pressure over a long period, you need to have tests because what's more is to find out what causes the hypotension, including cardiac diseases, autonomic nervous system disorders or blood poisoning."
Cases of low blood pressure normally increase in the summer, reaching 5,649 in July and 5,756 in August 2019, more than double the 2,713 cases in February.
"If you sweat profusely, you can also suffer from temporary low blood pressure due to dehydration," Oh added.
The NHIS put the total medical costs associated with hypotension at W9.58 billion in 2019, up a whopping 98.6 percent 2015 (US$1=W1,131). Costs per patient increased from W193,000 to W266,000 over the period.
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