Skip the main content if you do not want to read it as the next section.
Blood pressure pills for all over 55s - BPA comment
UK charity the Blood Pressure Association has responded to research published in the British Medical Journal today (20 May 2009), which calls for everyone over 55 to be given blood pressure medicines, even if their current blood pressure reading is normal.
Professor Malcolm Law reviewed almost 150 studies, and concluded that anyone old enough to be at risk of heart attack or stroke should be offered blood pressure lowering medication. He said blood pressure medicines cut the risk of heart attack and heart failure by around a quarter and the risk of stroke by a third.
Mike Rich, Executive Director of the Blood Pressure Association, said: "This research is another reminder that, as the major cause of strokes and heart attacks, high blood pressure is a condition that must be taken seriously.
"More than half of people in their 50s have high blood pressure, so the suggestion that everyone over the age of 55 should take medicine regardless of whether or not they have the condition is an interesting one.
"Prevention is better than cure, but there are other proven ways to prevent high blood pressure such as healthy eating and regular exercise, which have other health benefits too.
"There is a danger that these important lifestyle factors could be overlooked in favour of 'popping a pill'."