Who really needs blood pressure, cholesterol meds?

April 6, 2017

(HealthDay)—High blood pressure and high cholesterol are known risk factors for heart attacks and strokes, but it's unclear who needs medication to help manage these conditions, a new report suggests.

According to a new Consumer Reports review, patients should consider these factors when deciding whether to take medications:

  • Weigh your risk. Everyone aged 40 and older should be aware of their 10-year risk for or stroke. Ideally, it should be less than 7.5 percent. Consumer Reports recommends using a calculator developed by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association to determine your risk.
  • Don't rush to medicate. Some lifestyle changes may be enough to manage slightly elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Exercise alone can significantly improve blood pressure, the review noted.
  • Get the right drug. If your doctor determines that you need medication, choose the safest option available. Diuretics, or water pills, may effectively manage high . This medication may also be used along with another drug, such as an ACE inhibitor or calcium channel blocker. Low doses of statins—such as lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol) or simvastatin (Zocor)—can also help prevent first heart attacks or stroke, the review authors said.

The report was published online April 6 and in the May issue of Consumer Reports.

Explore further: Too many Americans have high blood pressure, doctors warn

More information: SOURCE: Consumer Reports, news release, April 6, 2017

The American Heart Association has more about heart medications.

Related Stories

Too many Americans have high blood pressure, doctors warn

February 7, 2017
(HealthDay)—A group of family physicians warns that too many Americans struggle with high blood pressure.

Frequently asked questions about heart disease

February 2, 2017
As American Heart Month kicks off, doctors at Baylor College of Medicine have answers to some commonly asked questions to help jump starting your path to a healthy heart.

What you need to know about cholesterol

March 28, 2017
(HealthDay)—Cholesterol plays a vital role in your health, so it's important to understand the different types of cholesterol and how to influence their levels, a heart specialist says.

Seven steps toward a healthier heart

February 19, 2016
(HealthDay)—Heart disease is the leading cause of death for U.S. adults, but a healthy lifestyle can reduce that risk, a heart expert says.

Blood pressure drugs help keep heart trouble at bay, FDA says

May 6, 2014
(HealthDay)—High blood pressure affects about one-third of American adults and raises their risk for heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure and death, but there are many medications available to lower blood ...

1 in 4 Medicare patients uses blood pressure meds incorrectly

September 13, 2016
(HealthDay)—Nearly 5 million Medicare prescription drug enrollees aren't taking their blood pressure medication as directed, increasing their risk of heart attack and stroke, a new U.S. study found.

Recommended for you

New treatment significantly reduces cardiovascular events when combined with statins

November 12, 2018
Statins are the most commonly used treatment for cardiovascular disease. Despite reducing certain risk factors, if triglyceride levels remain high with use of statins, there is still a significant risk for heart attack, stroke ...

Kawasaki disease: One disease, multiple triggers

November 12, 2018
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and international collaborators have evidence that Kawasaki Disease (KD) does not have a single cause. By studying ...

Study: How vitamin D and fish oil affect risk of heart attack, stroke and cancer

November 12, 2018
For years, it's remained an open question: What effects do dietary supplements such as high doses of vitamin D or omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish oil have on the risk of diseases such as heart attack, stroke and cancer? ...

Diabetes drug might also ease heart failure risks

November 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—The diabetes drug Farxiga might do double-duty for patients, helping to ward off another killer, heart failure, new research shows.

Updated cholesterol guidelines offer more personalized risk assessment, additional treatment options

November 12, 2018
More personalized risk assessments and new cholesterol-lowering drug options for people at the highest risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) are among the key recommendations in the 2018 cholesterol guidelines from the American ...

Heart meeting features fish oil, vitamin D, cholesterol news

November 11, 2018
Fish oil, vitamin D, novel drugs, new cholesterol guidelines: News from an American Heart Association conference over the weekend reveals a lot about what works and what does not for preventing heart attacks and other problems.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.