High blood pressure meds may increase risk of falls among elderly: study

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New Haven, CT – Elderly people who take medication for high blood pressure may have a greater risk of falling and being seriously injured, according to researchers at Yale University and Oregon State University.

The study involved 4,961 people older than 70 with hypertension, more than half of whom took moderate or high dosages of high blood pressure medication. Within a three-year period, 9 percent of the participants suffered serious fall-related injuries such as a hip fracture. The risk of serious injury was higher for people taking medication for high blood pressure, as well as those who had suffered a previous fall injury, according to the study abstract.

Although the study did not prove cause-and-effect, researchers theorized that medications may be associated with the high risk of falls.

The study was published online Feb. 24 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

In a related commentary, researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife, an elder care center in Boston, said another reason for the fall risk may be hypertension itself or another illness.