BP pills not the reason for falling, fracturing bones

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London: A new study has recently revealed that people taking intensive blood pressure medication are not prone to falling and breaking bones.

Study on patients with type 2 diabetes examined fracture risk with antihypertensive treatment. The results showed that patients who received intensive blood pressure treatment did not fall more than less intensively treated patients, nor did they incur more fractures over an average follow-up of about five years.

Evidence from various clinical trials has shown that cardiovascular events such as strokes could be prevented by treating high blood pressure (hypertension). However, physicians and patients still often express concern that its tight control might increase a person's risk of low blood pressure (hypotension) and subsequent falls and fractures.

The research was ACCORD-BONE, an ancillary study of the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) randomized trial, which tested how more intensive treatment of blood sugar, blood pressure and lipids affected cardiovascular disease outcomes in people with diabetes. Participants in the ACCORD-BONE study were, on average, about 62 years old; none were 80 or older.

Karen Margolis, MD, said that lowering blood pressure using intensive treatment compared with standard treatment did not result in an increased rate of falls or fractures and, in fact, showed possible trends towards fewer fractures in the intensively treated patients.

She further added that although intensive blood pressure treatment to the low levels in ACCORD did not lower cardiovascular events, their results suggested a need to carefully reconsider current thinking about whether antihypertensive treatment and blood pressure lowering increases risk for falls and fractures.

The study appears in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, published by Springer. 

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