Over-the-counter pain relievers may increase your blood pressure

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In a new survey from the American Heart Association, researchers found while nearly half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure (HBP), only 29% think over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers may raise blood pressure.

High blood pressure is defined as a consistent blood pressure measurement of 130 over 80 or higher. The guidelines also state that some OTC pain relievers may elevate blood pressure.

The majority of adults in the general population, as well as people with high blood pressure, aren’t sure about the effect of OTC pain medicine on their blood pressure.

Only a little more than half of those diagnosed with high blood pressure, who take OTC pain relievers (53%) check with their doctor before taking this medicine.

Conducted by The Harris Poll, the survey polled 2,013 U.S. adults aged 18 and older.

The team also found 38% of those with high blood pressure think over-the-counter pain relievers may raise blood pressure.

Only 21% of U.S. adults know that acetaminophen does not raise blood pressure, and those with high blood pressure are only slightly more aware of this fact (28%).

39% of U.S. adults with high blood pressure report acetaminophen is the over-the-counter medication they take most often for pain.

Only 10% of U.S. adults with HBP self-measure their BP multiple times a day and only 14% do so at least once a day.

In the U.S., high blood pressure is the No. 1 preventable cause of heart disease and stroke and second only to cigarette smoking as a preventable cause of death for any reason.

The team suggests people checking blood pressure regularly at home with a validated blood pressure device for the most accurate reading. They should work with their doctors on a plan to control it.

If you care about pain, please read studies about therapy that can effectively treat pain, depression and anxiety, and what you need to know about headache pain.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about much more efficient way to treat high blood pressure, and results showing this resistance training may safely reduce high blood pressure.

One researcher of the study is Willie Lawrence, Jr., M.D.

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