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For what ages should blood pressure medications be recommended?

02 September 2022
Volume 4 · Issue 9

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR, 2022), it is important for people of any age with even a slightly raised blood pressure to have timely access to anti-hypertensive medication. Recent research published in The Lancet found that these medications can reduce risk of myocardial infarction and stroke in any age up to 85 years old, with the trend continuing above this age, although it is difficult to ascertain outcomes because of the limited sample in this age category.

Hypertension is common in the UK and around the world, particularly in western developed countries with higher rates of poor diets full of saturated fats and salt, and sedentary lifestyles. Hypertension is also common in Asian and African demographics. Hypertension raises the risk of cardiovascular events, and antihypertensives can considerably reduce the risk of such events. The NIHR (2022) reports that one in three adults in the UK has hypertension, with many being completely unaware of their condition because the symptom itself, high blood pressure, is not noticeable. However, the problem is noticeable once a cardiovascular event has occurred — something that in part happens as a result of hypertension. If surveillance of blood pressure is regularly carried out, then the GP surgery might well be where the problem is picked up on.

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