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Fall Risk Up With Initiation, Intensification of HTN Meds

Short-term fall risk up during 15 days after initiation, intensification of antihypertensive medication

FRIDAY, May 13, 2016 (HealthDay News) — For older adults, initiation and intensification of antihypertensive medication is associated with a short-term increased risk of serious fall injuries, according to a study published online May 10 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Daichi Shimbo, M.D., from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues examined the correlation between initiating and intensifying antihypertensive medication and serious fall injuries in a case-crossover study of 90,127 Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years or older. The authors examined medication exposures for the 15-day period before the fall (case period) and six earlier control periods, each of 15 days.

The researchers found that 272 Medicare beneficiaries initiated antihypertensive medication, 1,508 added a new class of antihypertensive medication, and 3,113 titrated therapy (addition of a new class or increase in dosage of current class) within 15 days of their serious fall. There were increases in the odds of a serious fall injury in the 15 days after antihypertensive medication initiation, addition of a new class, and titration (odds ratios, 1.36, 1.16, and 1.13, respectively). Beyond 15 days the correlations were attenuated.

“Antihypertensive medication initiation and intensification was associated with a short-term, but not long-term, increased risk of serious fall injuries among older adults,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to Amgen.

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