Blood Pressure Meds Boost Risk of Serious Falls in Seniors

woman_fallAccording to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 67 million adults have high blood pressure. Yet many don’t know it. Because high blood pressure, or hypertension, has no warning signs, earning it the title “America’s silent killer.” That means 1 in 3 adults—maybe even you—are at an increased risk of suffering a fatal heart attack or stroke, two of the leading causes of death in the United States.

If you have hypertension, your doctor has likely prescribed one or more of the dozens of medications designed to lower your blood pressure…but there’s a big problem with that. Prescription drugs are toxins that are specifically designed to poison one part of the body in order to suppress a symptom in another part of the body. Poisoning the body causes entirely new diseases, but to obscure this fact, the new diseases are called “side effects.”

Anti-hypertensive medications cause significant side effects, including dizziness and fainting, which is particularly dangerous for aging adults. For years, doctors assumed blood pressure medications were safe and effective in all seniors. Healthy older adults are better able to detoxify the drugs and be less affected, but health officials have become increasingly concerned about the risk of serious falls in seniors having multiple chronic conditions and taking anti-hypertensive medications.

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine enrolled 4,961 hypertensive patients over the age of 70 in a study to examine the link between blood pressure medication use and serious injuries such as hip fractures and head injuries from falls. They divided participants into three groups according to current medication use, with 700 taking no blood pressure pills, 2,709 on a moderate dose of blood pressure medication, and 1,553 on a high dose.

Compared to non-users, those subjects taking blood pressure medications were up to 40 percent more likely to experience a serious injury from falling. Interestingly, those with a previous fall injury were more than twice as likely as non-users to suffer a serious fall injury. What concerned researchers most is that these types of injuries had a similar effect on mortality and functional loss as the strokes and heart attacks the blood pressure pills are meant to prevent.

Unfortunately, these findings took center stage recently when newspapers across the globe reported on the tragic death of 62-year-old British conservationist, philanthropist, and author, Mark Shand, brother to Camilla Parker Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall.

Shand died after suffering a serious head injury sustained while falling through a revolving door during his own charity’s fundraising event at a New York hotel. Shand was reportedly on a cocktail of medications including ramipril to lower his blood pressure. Interestingly, his dosage had been increased in recent months, which may have triggered dizzy spells and caused the serious fall from which he did not recover.

At Beyond Health, we are painfully saddened by needless disability and death resulting from serious falls due to anti-hypertensive medication use, because it is entirely preventable. In fact, if you or someone you know has hypertension, we hope you take a moment now to review our previous post on using natural therapies including diet to lower blood pressure, so you can eventually bypass blood pressure medications altogether. The body knows how to balance its blood pressure. The problem is our poor diets and exposure to toxins disturb this natural process.


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