On Blood Pressure Meds? Here’s Why Experts are Worried About Your Safety
If you are over the age of 65, the odds are that you are likely improperly using a blood pressure medication. Those are the new findings according to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which found that nearly half of Americans over 65 years of age are not taking a blood pressure medication as prescribed.
CDC: About 5 million adults aren’t taking their blood pressure medicine as directed
The CDC’s findings were recently published in its monthly report, CDC Vital Signs, which includes information about current healthcare issues and concerns. The study was based on an analysis of data from more than 18.5 million people who were enrolled in either Medicare Advantage or Original Medicare, along with Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, during 2014.
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As noted above, the report specifically noted that almost 50% of adults aged 65 years or older do not have their blood pressure under control, a finding that is largely due to improper use of medication. This percentage is particularly alarming in light of the fact that roughly 70% of adults in this age group have high blood pressure, meaning that approximately 5 million people fall into this category.
Why Are So Many Opting Out of Blood Pressure Meds?
Well, turns out they come with some less-than-desirable side effects, such as weakness, fatigue, depression and even erectile issues for men. Worse, it’s believed that lowering blood pressure using harsh, unnatural drugs does nothing more than temporarily trick your body, masking dangerous underlying causes that threaten health in a big way. In one study, it was found that blood pressure drugs even increased the risk of death for certain populations.
What Does the CDC Recommend?
The CDC is urging all partners in the national health care system — such as physicians, pharmacists, hospitals, and healthcare insurance providers — to place more emphasis on directing and encouraging their patients to diligently follow their medication directions. But there’s another option:
Lastly, but perhaps just as importantly, if you are currently taking blood pressure medication double-check that you are doing so in the recommended manner, and talk to your doctor about ways you can manage your blood pressure without resorting to risky medications.
For more information about blood pressure drugs and how to limit your risk naturally, check out our article Study: Blood Pressure Meds May Backfire in a BIG Way (and how to minimize risk, naturally).
Derek is a technical writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the health care field, having first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Delaware. He is a contributing author on a number of textbooks in the medical field, ran a nuclear cardiology licensing course, and has written a variety of other pieces from online training courses to medical software manuals. Derek pursues his personal interest in health and wellness by playing multiple sports and running marathons. An insatiable traveler, he spent 16 months working and living abroad while traveling through South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia.