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Medical Malpractice

Help or Hurt? Blood Pressure Medication Increases Fall Risk

April 7, 2014 | Michael Barasch

Medication for hypertension helps decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke. A recent study indicates the medication can also increase your risk of a serious fall. What can you do? 

The measure of the intensity of blood pushing against blood vessels as it courses through your body is called blood pressure. Anyone who has experienced a blood pressure cuff knows high blood pressure is dangerous. Untreated high blood pressure, or hypertension, strains the heart, damages the vascular system and could lead to heart failure or stroke. 

Hypertension is common in older adults and so is medication to control blood pressure. Unfortunately, the side effects of blood pressure medications include dizziness and loss of balance. A recent study from Yale School of Medicine found older adults on medication for blood pressure are 30 to 40 percent more likely to fall. 

Hypertension is caused by factors that include: 

  • Stress
  • Overweight
  • Smoking
  • Physical inactivity
  • Genetics
  • Age 

Falls are a leading cause of traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. A hip fracture during older age can trigger a rapid decline in health and quality of life. 

For adults on medication for hypertension, the increased risk of falling is a concern. The Yale research shows risk of a fatal fall is increased by medication prescribed to avoid fatal vascular events. 

If at risk for high blood pressure, lifestyle changes can avert your lifetime risk for hypertension and falls. When diagnosed with hypertension, be sure you — and your doctor — understand the inherent risks of medication you are prescribed. 

If injured through medical or medication mistake, talk to an experienced injury law firm in New York.

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