Getting hypertension under control is crucial. But a new study indicates “aggressive use" of medications to lower systolic blood pressure to 140 or less may do more harm than good for older adults. Systolic is the first, higher number on your blood pressure readings.
Researchers at Oregon State University concluded that "mild" control of blood pressure — meaning getting the systolic number 150 or less — may be adequate for seniors 65 and older.
Blood pressure medications often have side effects that become more pronounced if higher dosages are used to lower systolic readings to 140 or less, researchers noted. For example, higher dosages of hypertension drugs could cause blood pressure to suddenly decrease when the patient stands up, causing lightheadedness or dizziness. This could lead to a serious fall.
The findings were published in November in the journal Drugs & Aging.