Elderly people taking antihypertensive drugs do not have an increased risk of falls

A recent study showed that standard and high doses of antihypertensive medications were not associated with an increased risk of falls. In the image, an elderly person with a walking frame is helped by a younger person

There are conflicting data on the relationship between antihypertensive drugs and falls in elderly people. In an attempt to bring clarity, researchers undertook a one-year observational study of 598 people with hypertension aged 70–97 years, of whom 262 were regularly taking antihypertensive medications.

Results of the study, reported in Hypertension
[1]
(online, 4 May 2015), showed that standard and high doses of antihypertensive medications were not associated with an increased risk of falls. Furthermore, treatment with calcium channel blockers or angiotensin- converting enzyme inhibitors was associated with a lower risk of falls versus non-use of these drugs.

“Given the known benefits of treating hypertension in elderly people, the withholding of antihypertensive medications to prevent falls may not be a justifiable medical practice,” the researchers conclude.

References

[1] Lipsitz LA, Habtemariam D, Gagnon M et al. Reexamining the effect of antihypertensive medications on falls in old age. Hypertension 2015. doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.115.05513.

Last updated
Citation
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 6 June 2015, Vol 294, No 7865;294(7865):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20068606