(WHTM) — The pandemic caused many people’s blood pressure to rise according to a new study from the Cleveland Clinic.

“We studied almost 500,000 individuals and we looked at pre-pandemic changes in blood pressure and during the pandemic changes in blood pressure to assess if some of the consequences of the pandemic would increase blood pressure and we definitely saw that,” Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Luke Laffin said.

Dr. Laffin says they compared data from a three-year span and discovered blood pressure levels went up between April and December 2020, which is around the same time stay-at-home orders and other restrictions were put in place.

Dr. Laffin also says this did not just affect one age group or sex but women appeared to be among the highest. He says people living a more sedentary lifestyle, drinking more alcohol, stress and lack of sleep contributed to the spike.

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“It’s really important that not only doing the public health interventions that we recommend during a pandemic, like vaccinations, etcetera, but also making sure one is taking care of their regular medical issues, like their blood pressure, their cholesterol, their asthma — whatever the case is because those tended to be somewhat neglected, particularly in 2020,” Dr. Laffin.

Dr. Laffin says they plan to continue to research how blood pressure levels may change in the future.