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Study Finds A Tendency to Gain Weight And Decrease Physical Activity When Taking Blood Pressure Medication

Certain lifestyle changes, including losing weight, quitting smoking, and engaging in regular physical activity, have been shown to be helpful for improving blood pressure levels. Despite that, a new study has found that people taking blood pressure medication have a higher likelihood of gaining weight and decreasing physical activity.

Participants in the study included 41,225 people with an average age of 52. Height, weight, physical activity, average weekly alcohol consumption, and smoking status were assessed at least twice at 4-year intervals. Medication usage was obtained from participants’ pharmacies. 32.9% were taking prescription medication at the beginning of the study, 10.8% of participants began taking prescription medication during the study period, and 56.3% did not use prescription medication.

The researchers found that participants who began taking prescription medication during the study period had an 8% higher prospect of becoming less physically active compared to those not taking medication. Those taking medication also had an 82% higher probability of gaining weight or becoming obese. On the other hand, they had a 25% higher chance of quitting smoking and a higher likelihood of reducing alcohol consumption, compared to those not taking medication.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Turku and the University of Eastern Finland. It was published online ahead of print on February 5, 2020 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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