Increasing blood pressure medications when older patients are discharged from the hospital may also hike falling, fainting or kidney injury risks, a new study shows. Investigators said such dangers outweigh possible treatment benefits.
Researchers from University of California, San Francisco and San Francisco VA Health Care System studied more than 4,000 patients who were at least 65 years old and hospitalized for non-cardiac issues. Patients discharged with greater amounts of blood pressure drugs saw no fewer cardiovascular events and no improvement of blood pressure control after one year. At the same time, risk for readmission and serious adverse events surged for some patients within 30 days of discharge.
“Our findings suggest that making medication changes during this period is not beneficial,” said the study’s lead author, Timothy Anderson, M.D., MAS, MA, a primary care research fellow in UCSF’s Division of General Internal Medicine.
“Instead, deferring medication adjustments to outpatient doctors to consider once patients are recovered from their acute illness is likely to be a safer course,” he added. The findings were published in the August 19 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.