As a Physical Therapist, I have been telling my patients to take their blood pressure medication and take their time getting out of bed in the morning by “rolling” to one side vs doing a sit up to avoid heart attacks and strokes. According to another recent report in HealthDay News, failure to take blood pressure-lowering medicines as directed greatly increases the risk of stroke and death in patients with high blood pressure.
The study’s authors report that “These results emphasize the importance of hypertensive [high blood pressure] patients taking their antihypertensive medications correctly in order to minimize their risk of serious complications such as fatal and non-fatal strokes.
They also reported that Non-adherent patients have a greater risk even 10 years before they suffer a stroke, and found that there is a dose-response relationship, and the worse someone is at taking their antihypertensive therapy, the greater their risk.
Patients who didn’t take their blood pressure-lowering medications correctly had a 2.7-fold higher risk of hospitalization in the second year after being prescribed the drugs, and a nearly 1.7-fold higher risk in the tenth year, the study also found.
In the actual year that non-adherent patients were hospitalized with stroke, they had nearly twice the risk compared to adherent patients.
Noncompliance with prescriptions is a very large problem among seniors and often contributes to hospitalizations. That’s why Assisting Hands home aides are trained in medication management to ensure that loved ones are taking the proper doses and at the correct times.
Richard Ueberfluss, PT