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High blood pressure is a part of life for the majority of those over age 70. That means blood pressure medication has become a fact of life, too.
Diuretics, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, renin-angiotensin system blockers, and the list goes on. In a study of a national sample of almost 5000 Medicare beneficiaries with hypertension, more than 85 percent were taking at least one of these classes of blood pressure drugs. Most took at least two types.
A great vast majority of the elderly have co-morbidities, and are exposed greater risks. It is worth the time to go over specific risks with your healthcare provider – especially for risk of falls. Serious fall injuries are as likely to lead to death or have lasting functional disabilities.
Looking at those Medicare beneficiaries on hypertensive meds, researchers found out, that the risk for falls is significantly higher in those taking meds in contrast to those who do not.
Although it is premature to blame anti-hypertensive meds to falls, these types of meds drop blood pressure, and can make patients fatigued, confused and dizzy.
It appears beneficial then, to weigh out the risk and benefits of how aggressive one wants to control blood pressure. Medical authorities already advise relaxing the goals for lowered blood pressure among older patients, as recent guidelines suggest aiming for 150/90 for patients over age 60 without diabetes or kidney disease.
Speak to your healthcare provider and your family and help create goals and plans tailored to your priorities.
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