Blood Pressure Meds in Older Adults Kill Quality of Life

Keeping blood pressure under control is a main focus of mainstream medicine, especially as we age. We always use blood pressure medication to achieve this end.  But what if this makes us worse off??

I certainly seem to be on a rampage lately on the issue of blood pressure and blood pressure medications (including a recent post linking calcium channel blockers doubling risk of breast cancer), but I really do just flag these articles as they come out, so blame it on the medical research publishing community.  I’m just the messenger.

So, since it seems like the medical community has been hell-bent on destroying the $93.5 BILLION dollar industry (and that’s just in the US), I’ll just point out the details of this particular study quickly and give some resources for improving blood pressure without medications.

In it, researchers looked at the physical and mental health of 5866 persons with an average age of 57.  Here’s what they found:

  1. The use of blood pressure medications was associated with poorer health status.
  2. An increased intensity of blood pressure treatment (needing 3 or more meds) was also associated with poorer health status.
  3. The actual blood pressure reading was not a factor (in other words, it was the blood pressure medication and not the blood pressure itself).
  4. At the opposite end, both lower systolic and lower diastolic blood pressures were also linked to poorer physical and mental health status, regardless of treatment.

Basically, the use of blood pressure medications decreased overall quality of life.  Given that we know that drug treatment of stage 1 hypertension (systolic under 160, diastolic under 100) makes no difference in rates of heart disease, stroke or death, this adds yet another nail in the coffin of medication (versus lifestyle) management of elevated blood pressure.  Unfortunately, this is a habit that is going to die very, very, very, very hard given the decades we have spent medicating high blood pressure and the untold billions of revenue this class of drugs generates.

The vast majority of elevated blood pressure cases are really the early stages of diabetes.  This means that an anti-diabetic lifestyle is key to maintaining ideal blood pressure.  Here are some resources for you:

While it may sound like a brand new concept coming from me, but the use of blood pressure medication for stage 1 hypertension is falling apart quickly, leaving lifestyle as the ONLY method of safely lowering your blood pressure.

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.