In a recent study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 70th Annual Scientific Session, researchers found nearly 1 in 5 adults with high blood pressure, a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke, also take a medicine that could be elevating their blood pressure.
The three most common classes of medications were antidepressants; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that include ibuprofen and naproxen; and oral steroids used to treat conditions such as gout, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or after an organ transplant.
These medications were reported by 9%, 7% and 2% of participants, respectively.
Other medications linked to blood pressure elevation were also reported, including antipsychotics, certain oral contraceptives and popular decongestants.
Researchers said these findings raise concerns, especially as nearly half of Americans diagnosed with high blood pressure do not have it sufficiently controlled.
The study is from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,. One author is John Vitarello, MD.
The goal blood pressure for hypertension patients is a reading of less than 130 mmHg over 80 mmHg.
In the study, the team examined data from 27,599 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2009 and 2018.
Researchers identified medications associated with blood pressure elevation based on those listed in the ACC/AHA guideline and examined the use of these medications.
Among participants with high blood pressure, 19% reported using one or more blood pressure raising medications and 4% reported using multiple.
Nearly one-quarter (24%) of women with high blood pressure reported using a blood pressure raising medication compared with 14% of men.
Older adults were more likely to be using blood pressure-raising medications than younger adults (19% of participants over age 65 vs. 18% of participants under age 65).
The findings suggest that, in some cases, rather than treating high blood pressure with more medications, there may be opportunities to lower blood pressure by deprescribing or substituting safer medications.
The team estimates that if half of U.S. adults with hypertension who are taking blood pressure raising medications were to discontinue one of these medications, 560,000 to 2.2 million patients could be able to achieve their blood pressure goals without additional medications.
If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies about this common blood pressure drug linked to high suicide risk and findings of what is a healthy blood pressure?
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