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Using data from Peru and a quasi-experimental approach, we document significant increases in arterial blood pressure and in the incidence of arterial hypertension caused by the restrictive measures employed by the Peruvian authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects are more pronounced for women, older respondents, and urban residents. The effects are statistically significant and high in magnitude relative to the pre-pandemic incidence of disease in the Peruvian population. A main channel of disease propagation seems to be the changes in dietary habits and physical activity imposed by the COVID-19 lockdowns, which affected several anthropometric measurements that are common risk factors for hypertension.


* We estimate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on hypertension.

* We find significant increases in blood pressure and hypertension incidence.

* Women, older respondents, and urban residents see higher risks.

* Changes in dietary habits and physical activity are contributing risk factors.

(C) 2024Elsevier, Inc.