Some of the common health issues that elderly people face are hypertension and weakened bones. And with such problems, aged people are also required to take considerable amount of medicine should they develop both conditions.
Fortunately, it seems that they may be already a solution to these health problems.
In a study involving Veterans Affairs and Medicare patients, the antihypertension medicine, thiazide diuretics, was found to decrease the risk of hip or pelvic fracture occurrence in patients compared with those who are taking other types of medicine for hypertension.
According to Dr. Caroline Messer, a reviewer of the study’s results and the director for the Center of Pituitary and Neuroendocrine Disorders at Lenox Hill Hospital, NY, treatment with thiazide can lower the excretion levels of calcium in the urine by as high as 50%.
In turn, treatment with the drug results in the positive calcium balance in the body. As a consequence of this health benefit, bone loss is slowed down, thus reducing the risk for bone fracture in patients.
The said study was supported by the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and was headed by Dr. Joshua Barzilay of Kaiser Permanente of Georgia. Barzilay and his team were also in charge of monitoring 22,000 70-year-old patients.
In the study, the participants were involved in a critical trial, which was aimed at determining and comparing how different anti-hypertension drugs influenced the occurrence of heart diseases and heart attack risks. In addition, the patients were followed up for further examination for around five years
Results showed that the patients who took thiazide had a 21% lower risk of developing hip and pelvic fractures compared with those who were provided with either Lisinopril or amlodipine. Lisinopril belongs to a group of ACE inhibitor drugs, whereas amlodipine is included in a group of compounds known for being channel blockers.
Based on the results of thy study, thiazide should be used by people with hypertension.
However, according to Messer, thiazide is not always recommended as the first mode of treatment in patients. She emphasized that deciding on a proper medication should be different from case to case. Moreover, just like any drugs, thiazide is not without risks. Using thiazide as medication may lead to hyponatremia or increase the risk for falls.
Dr. David Friedman, the chief of heart failure services at Northwell Health Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital, NY, supported Messer’s ideas. Though the data obtained from the said study showed positive results for thiazide diuretics, risk and benefit analysis should be conducted for each patient before recommending the drug to them.