BP meds not tied to falls in older women

But patients need to be monitored when antihypertensives are added or changed, researcher says

Long-term treatment and control of high blood pressure does not increase the risk of falls in postmenopausal women, according to a US study.

The finding "goes against what many doctors intuitively think: that treatment for high blood pressure may increase the risk of falls," says researcher Dr Karen Margolis of HealthPartners Institute in Minneapolis.

"Therefore, they worry that the protection against strokes and heart disease conferred by treatment of high blood pressure may be offset by harms related to injuries from falls,” she says in an email.

“For the most part, I don't think this worry appears to be justified.”

For their study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, Dr Margolis and colleagues examined data on almost 6000 community living women with a mean age of 79 taking part in a long-term study.

At baseline, 70% of the women