New estimates suggest pandemic has led to decreased diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure in potentially hundreds of thousands of Canadians

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Shoppers Drug Mart Shares Data on High Blood Pressure in Canadians and Potential Long-Term Health Effects of Undiagnosed People

TORONTO, November 9, 2021 / CNW / – High blood pressure (hypertension) has been a concern of Canadian healthcare professionals for years, as the most important risk factor for premature death and disability. The prevalence of hypertension is increasing, however, its levels of diagnosis and management are declining, which could result in a huge cost to the quality of life of patients and to the healthcare system. Shoppers Drug Mart shares data that suggests the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in reduced diagnoses and treatments for hypertension, a warning sign of potential longer-term risks, like higher rates of heart attack , stroke and kidney failure.

Shoppers Drug Mart Presents Rapid COVID Screening for Customers in Ontario and Alberta (CNW Group / Shoppers Drug Mart)

“Prior to the pandemic, hypertension affected one in four Canadians, increasing at an accelerating rate to reach one in three by 2030. In an era when the pandemic lifestyle is changing – like less movement, more stress, more of food and increased alcohol consumption – should lead to an increase in the number of patients seeking treatment, we have actually seen a decrease. This is a pandemic effect and suggests that hundreds of thousands of Canadians just don’t know their health needs attention, ”said Jeff Leger, President, Shoppers Drug Mart.

Data shows in-person doctor visits decreased by up to 79 percent1, since March 2020, while Canadians stayed at home or avoided health facilities. At the same time, data from Shoppers Drug Mart showed up to 30 percent fewer new patients starting drugs typically used to treat hypertension than in previous years. This trend has improved slightly with the easing of COVID restrictions. However, a comparison of data from 2021 and 2019 suggests that nearly one in five hypertensive patients expected are not seeking treatment or knowing they need it.

If left undetected or uncontrolled, hypertension can have serious long-term health consequences, including heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. This can dramatically increase overall costs to Canadians, including a shortened lifespan, deteriorated quality of life, and a significant additional burden on the health care system.

“Detected early, hypertension can be managed with appropriate clinical care, including lifestyle changes like diet, exercise and medication,” Leger continued. “As healthcare professionals, we share this data to encourage Canadians to talk to their doctor or pharmacist to have their blood pressure checked.”

1 CMAJ February 8, 2021; 193: E200-10. doi: 10.1503 / cmaj.202303

About Shoppers Drug Mart

Shoppers Drug Mart Inc. is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing. The Company is the licensor of full-service retail pharmacies operated under the Shoppers Drug Mart name (Pharmaprix in Quebec). With over 1,300 Shoppers Drug Mart® and Pharmaprix® stores operating in prime locations in every province and two territories, the company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada. The company also holds licenses or owns 47 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy.® (Simply Health Pharmaprix® in Quebec) and provides cosmetic dermatology services in two independent branches The Beauty Clinic by Shoppers ™. In addition, the company owns and operates 43 Wellwise Shoppers Drug Mart ™ stores and an e-commerce site Wellwise.ca, making it Canada’s largest retailer of home health care products and services. In addition to its network of retail stores, the company owns the online platform Medical Cannabis by Shoppers for the sale of medical cannabis, Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution services, pharmacy and Comprehensive Patient Support; and MediSystem. Inc., a supplier of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities. Shoppers Drug Mart is an independent operating division of Loblaw Companies Limited.

SOURCE Pharmaprix

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