Scientists from Harvard found that nearly 1 in 5 people with hypertension may be unintentionally taking a drug for another condition that causes their blood pressure to climb even higher.
The research is published in JAMA Internal Medicine and was conducted by Dr. Timothy Anderson et al.
Left untreated or undertreated, high blood pressure will increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and vision problems by damaging blood vessels.
Lifestyle changes such as weight loss, restricting salt intake, and/or medication can help move your blood pressure numbers back into the normal range.
However, drugs you are taking for other conditions might be pushing those numbers up.
In the study, the team used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2009 to 2018.
They looked at the use of the drugs known to raise blood pressure, including antidepressants, prescription-strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), steroids, hormonal medications, decongestants and weight-loss pills among people with high blood pressure.
The team found that 18.5% of adults with high blood pressure reported taking a medication that increased their blood pressure.
People who did were more likely to have uncontrolled high blood pressure if they weren’t also on blood pressure-lowering medications.
The team also found that people who were on blood pressure drugs were more likely to need higher doses to control their blood pressure if they also took drugs for other conditions that raise blood pressure.
The team says to control high blood pressure, people should ask their doctors if any of their medications will affect the numbers.
This is particularly true for patients who see multiple doctors who may not always be up to date on their medication lists.
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