If your blood pressure is high, your doctor will probably prescribe an ACE inhibitor or a beta-blocker to artificially lower it. Your doctor will tell you these medications are safe and effective. While they might be effective, they’re not safe – especially for women. New evidence says these drugs can increase your risk for hip fractures. And a broken hip can be the beginning of a long health decline.
We’ve known for a number of years that drugs that lower your blood pressure significantly increase your risk of falling. Falling is common when your blood pressure goes too low. But we didn’t know for sure if these falls increased your risk of falling. Some of the evidence was conflicting. However, this new study shows definitively that they increase your fracture risk. (Frankly, I didn’t need a study to tell me that these drugs increase fracture risk. More falls almost always results in a fracture at some point. But it’s good to have the confirmation.)
Debra Butt, MD, of the University of Toronto, wanted to find out if the falls these drugs cause do raise the fracture risk. So she searched the data from healthcare databases and found the answer. She looked at over 300,000 Ontario residents. All of them were at least 66 years old and all of them began taking blood pressure medication between 2000 and 2009.
What Dr. Butt found was scary. During the first 45 days of taking any blood pressure medication, the risk of having a broken hip went up by 43%! The worst risk came among those who started taking a beta-blocker, such as Toprol XL or Tenormin. These patients saw a 58% increased risk. But even those taking an ACE inhibitor saw a substantial increase in their risk of 53%. Dr. Butt didn’t see a statistically significant increase in risk for those taking angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), calcium channel blockers, and thiazide diuretics.
So if you have high blood pressure and your doctor insists on prescribing you an antihypertensive drug, make sure it’s not an ACE inhibitor or a beta-blocker. The diuretics tend to have the fewest side effects across the board – and they’re the least expensive.
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However, don’t feel like you have to take a drug to lower your blood pressure. I’ve talked about a lot of different ways to lower even extremely high blood pressure. One of the best ways to lower it is by increasing your nitric oxide levels. You can increase your nitric oxide levels easily by taking CircO2.
I also recommend you take nattokinase, a nutrient that helps regulate your blood pressure so it doesn’t go too high or too low (and cause falls that results in hip fractures). I prefer to take nattokinase with other heart healthy nutrients to keep your entire cardiovascular system working properly. The best product available with the right combinations is Circutol.
Both of these products are safe, won’t cause any negative side effects, and can help you avoid falls and fractures. Also make sure you’re getting plenty of exercise, as this is one key to maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand