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Treating hypertension: Lowering your blood pressure with medications

What role should medications play in managing high blood pressure? 

Hypertension should be considered to be a life-long condition that needs to be controlled and managed. The first step is understanding what healthy blood pressure targets are and monitoring your blood pressure at home. Implementing lifestyle changes is an important next step to reduce your blood pressure or to lower your risk of developing hypertension in the future. 

In this video, Drs. Anthony Levinson and Richard Sztramko discuss when and what to consider when lifestyle changes alone are not enough to maintain a healthy blood pressure.  


 

Learn the answers to the following questions:

  • 0:30 - When should someone with high blood pressure take medication?
  • 1:55 - What are common medications for high blood pressure? How do they work?
  • 2:38 - What classes of medication are used for high blood pressure?
  • 5:58 - Would medication be required for the rest of your life?
  • 9:05 - How low should your blood pressure be with treatment?

 

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References

  1. McMaster Optimal Aging Portal. Studies support “risk-based” approach to treating people with high blood pressure. (2015 Mar). Accessed August 11, 2021. Available from : https://www.mcmasteroptimalaging.org/blog/detail/blog/2015/03/18/studies-support-risk-based-approach-to-treating-people-with-high-blood-pressure
  2. Robitaille C, Dai S, Waters C et al. Diagnosed hypertension in Canada: incidence, prevalence and associated mortality. CMAJ. 2012; 184(1):E49-E56.
  3. Graham I, Atar D, Borch-Johnsen K et al. European Guidelines on cardiovascular disease prevention in clinical practice: executive summary: Fourth Joint Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology and Other Societies on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Clinical Practice. Eur Heart J. 2007; 2375:414.
  4. Sundstrom J, Arima H, Woodward M et al. Blood pressure-lowering treatment based on cardiovascular risk: a meta-analysis of individual patient data. Lancet. 2014; 384:591-8.
  5. Stone N, Robinson J, Lichenstein A et al. 2013 ACC/AHA guideline on the treatment of blood cholesterol to reduce atherosclerotic cardiovascular risk in adults. Circulation. 2014; 129:S1-45.
  6. Chobanian AV, Bakris GL, Black HR et al. Seventh report of the Joint National Committee on prevention, detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood pressure. Hypertension. 2003;42(6):1206-1252. doi:10.1161/01.hyp.0000107251.49515.c2
  7. Blood Pressure Lowering Treatment Trialists' Collaboration. Pharmacological blood pressure lowering for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease across different levels of blood pressure: an individual participant-level data meta-analysis. Lancet. 2021 May 1;397(10285):1625-1636. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00590-0
  8. Karmali KN, Lloyd-Jones DM. Global risk assessment to guide blood pressure management in cardiovascular disease prevention. Hypertension. 2017 Jan;69(3):e2-e9. doi:10.1161/hypertensionaha.116.08249
  9. Nguyen Q, Dominguez J, Nguyen L, Gullapalli N. Hypertension management: An update. Am Health Drug Benefits. 2010;3(1):47-56.
  10. Oparil S, Acelajado MC, Bakris GL et al. Hypertension. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2018;4:18014. doi:10.1038/nrdp.2018.14
  11. Heart and Stroke Foundation. Get your blood pressure under control. (2015). Accessed August 11, 2021. Available from: https://www.heartandstroke.ca/-/media/pdf-files/canada/health-information-catalogue/en-get-your-blood-pressure-under-control-v21-web.ashx

Acknowledgements

This work is supported through the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging and funds provided by the Dean and Vice-President, Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. 

DISCLAIMER: These summaries are provided for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professional. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (info@mcmasteroptimalaging.org).

Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of these blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations such as social distancing and frequent hand washing. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with current social distancing recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website.

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