Some Lifestyle Changes Suffer With Start of Meds to Cut CV Risk

Likelihood of becoming obese, physically inactive increased for initiators of antihypertensives, statins

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WEDNESDAY, Feb. 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Initiation of antihypertensive and statin medication is associated with favorable and unfavorable lifestyle changes, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Maarit J. Korhonen, Ph.D., from the University of Turku in Finland, and colleagues examined whether lifestyle factors change in relation to the initiation of antihypertensive or lipid-lowering medication (statins) in a population of 41,225 participants of the Finnish Public Sector study who were aged ≥40 years and were free of cardiovascular disease at baseline. Participants responded to two or more consecutive surveys in four-year intervals between 2000 and 2013. Changes in body mass index, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and smoking were compared between 8,837 initiators and 46,021 noninitiators of antihypertensive medications or statins.

The researchers found that compared with noninitiators, participants who initiated medication use had a greater increase in body mass index (difference in change, 0.19) and a decrease in physical activity (−0.09 metabolic equivalent of task hour/day). Initiators had a higher likelihood of becoming obese and physically inactive (odds ratios, 1.82 and 1.08, respectively). A greater decline in average alcohol consumption (−1.85 g/week) and higher odds of quitting smoking (odds ratio for current smoking in second survey, 0.74) were seen in association with medication initiation.

"Expansion of pharmacologic interventions toward populations at low cardiovascular disease risk may not necessarily lead to expected benefits at the population level," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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