Blood Pressure Drugs Raise Risk of Falls

Tuesday, 25 Feb 2014 05:02 PM

By Nick Tate

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High blood pressure medication appears to raise the risk of serious injury from falling — including debilitating hip fractures or head injury — especially in older people who have been hurt in previous falls, a new study has found.
 
Most people older than 70 years have high blood pressure, and blood pressure control is key to reducing risk for heart attack and stroke. But the new research, which examined the association between medication use and serious fall-related injuries among 4,961 seniors with hypertension, found those who took drugs were far more likely to have suffered such a tumble than those who did not.
 
"Although cause and effect cannot be established in this observational study and we cannot exclude confounding, antihypertensive medications seemed to be associated with an increased risk of serious fall injury compared with no antihypertensive use in this nationally representative cohort of older adults, particularly among participants with a previous fall injury," the researchers concluded.
 
"The potential harms vs. benefits of antihypertensive medications should be weighed in deciding whether to continue antihypertensives in older adults with multiple chronic conditions."
 
The study was funded by the National Institute on Aging.

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