Each antihypertensive drug increases the risk of a stroke by 33 per cent, and that risk rises to two-and-a-half times if someone is taking three medications compared to someone with healthy blood pressure levels, researchers from the University of Alabama have discovered.
"You're in as much trouble by the time you are taking three medications as you are when you have hypertension and it is untreated, which is amazing," said lead researcher George Howard.
Instead, it's better to treat high blood pressure without drugs. Introduce moderate physical activity, keep your weight within normal ranges, reduce your salt intake and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, he advises.
Howard and his researchers discovered the dangers of antihypertensives when they reviewed the health of 26,785 people aged 45 years and older. By the end of the six-year review, 820 had suffered a stroke.
(Source: University of Alabama at Birmingham, May 29, 2015)