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May 2018 (Vol. 3 Issue 3)

Elderly with low blood pressure still taking antihypertensive drugs
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Elderly with low blood pressure still taking antihypertensive drugs image

Most of the older people taking antihypertensive drugs for lowering blood pressure have hypotension, or blood pressure that is already dangerously low—which could explain the high rate of falls and dizzy spells the elderly suffer.

More than 65 per cent of patients with hypotension—defined as a blood pressure of 100mmHg or less—are still taking antihypertensive medication, researchers from the University of Kent have discovered.

Doctors are prescribing the drugs, and then not monitoring blood pressure levels afterwards, says lead researcher Prof Chris Farmer.

His team analysed the health of 11,167 hospital patients, 1,899 of whom had low blood pressure—and 1,246 of these, which represents more than 65 per cent of hypotensive patients, were still taking an antihypertensive.


References

(Source: Age and Ageing, 2016; doi: 10.1093/ageing/afw120)

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