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Geriatric medicine

Elderly people taking antihypertensive drugs do not have an increased risk of falls

A recent study showed that standard and high doses of antihypertensive medications were not associated with an increased risk of falls. In the image, an elderly person with a walking frame is helped by a younger person

Source: Shutterstock.com

Researchers studied elderly people taking antihypertensive drugs to find out whether the agents were associated with an increased risk of falls

There are conflicting data on the relationship between antihypertensive drugs and falls in elderly people. In an attempt to bring clarity, researchers undertook a one-year observational study of 598 people with hypertension aged 70–97 years, of whom 262 were regularly taking antihypertensive medications.

Results of the study, reported in Hypertension[1] (online, 4 May 2015), showed that standard and high doses of antihypertensive medications were not associated with an increased risk of falls. Furthermore, treatment with calcium channel blockers or angiotensin- converting enzyme inhibitors was associated with a lower risk of falls versus non-use of these drugs.

“Given the known benefits of treating hypertension in elderly people, the withholding of antihypertensive medications to prevent falls may not be a justifiable medical practice,” the researchers conclude.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068606

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