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High blood pressure is at the top of the list of what causes strokes, and medications aren’t nearly as helpful at lowering risk as you may think. In fact, research shows that the more medications you are on to control your high blood pressure, the higher your risk for having a stroke.
Blood pressure control with medications not enough to reduce stroke risk
The journal Stroke published a study in June 2015 that analyzed data from almost 27,000 adults over 45 years of age. The researchers measured blood pressure, received full lists of medications, and performed other tests on each participant. Over an average follow up of 6.2 years, participants were also monitored for whether or not they had any strokes.
The researchers found that hypertensive patients who were using one type of antihypertensive medication (that effectively lowered their blood pressure to less than 120 mmHg) were 42% more likely to have a stroke than individuals who had the same, normal blood pressure but who did not require medications. For those on two or three antihypertensive medications, the stroke risk increased by 60% and 148%, respectively. Similar results were seen for prehypertensive patients taking drugs to lower their blood pressure.
This study shows that even when blood pressure is brought back to normal with medication, people who had hypertension were more than twice as likely to have stroke compared to those with normal blood pressure. And the more aggressive the pharmacological treatment required, the higher the stroke risk.
The researchers concluded that there should be a bigger focus on the prevention of hypertension and prehypertension in the first place, as “treatment of hypertension . . . does not eliminate the harmful effects of hypertension.”
Reduce your risk
If your latest blood pressure reading was a little high, don’t wait to get started in taking preventative measures. Keeping your blood pressure in the healthy range now is key; treatment later can only do so much.
Click here for tips on using diet to keep blood pressure in the healthy range.
Share your experience
How do you keep your blood pressure in the healthy range? What natural tips do you have to share? Please comment below.